Analysts forecast the Saudi economy to expand at a median rate of 5.2% this year, instead of the 4.5% forecast in the March poll, Reuters has reported. Last year, the Saudi economy grew 6.8%, analysts cut the kingdom's outlook for next year to 4.0% from 4.3%. "We expect Saudi oil production to increase a little bit this year and we think the government spending will be trimmed a little bit by around 5%, but that really reflects last year's outsized spending," said James Reeve, senior economist at Samba Financial Group in London. "In the short term, they can easily cope with significantly lower oil prices as they did in 2009. But they need to get a handle on domestic oil consumption in the medium to long term."