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‘SPENDING LIKELY TO GROW’

Kuwait 10-month budget surplus at $60.5 billion

Kuwait, March 27, 2013

Kuwait had a budget surplus of 17.2 billion dinars ($60.5 billion) in the first ten months of its fiscal year, preliminary budget data showed on Wednesday, thanks to robust oil income and lower-than-expected public spending.

The government spent 9.8 billion dinars in the ten months to the end of January, less than half of the 21.2 billion dinars originally earmarked for the period, a report posted on the Finance Ministry's website showed.

Income was 27.0 billion dinars, much higher than the 13.9 billion dinars which had been predicted. Oil revenues were 25.5 billion dinars, or 94 percent of the income, the data showed.

The ten-month surplus is equivalent to around 39 percent of the Gulf state's 2011 gross domestic product, according to a Reuters calculation based on the latest official data.

A Reuters poll in September forecast that Kuwait would record a budget surplus of 25.0 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2012/13, which began in April. The cabinet approved a revised budget for the current fiscal year in October.

High global oil prices have boosted Kuwait's revenue, while domestic political tensions have limited spending by delaying work on major parts of a 30 billion dinar infrastructure building and economic development plan announced in late 2010.

However, in the last few months there have been signs that the government has found ways to move ahead with some projects, which could reduce the budget surplus.

"With reported spending likely to accelerate further in coming months, we expect the budget to close the year at a lower 14 billion dinars - still an all-time high," National Bank of Kuwait wrote in a research note. – Reuters




Tags: Oil | Kuwait | GDP | Spending | income | budget surplus |

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