Saudi Arabia has about $650 billion in foreign reserves to help it withstand the slump in oil prices. But at the country’s current rate of spending, it won’t take long before the supply of reserves runs out.
According to a recent IMF report, the drop in oil prices from around $100 per barrel in 2014 to $45 per barrel this summer has already cost oil exporters in the Middle East roughly $360 billion this year. Without drastic action, several countries are at risk of using up their cash reserves within five years. From the IMF’s World Economic and Financial Survey, published on Oct. 15: