Kuwait budget surplus soars to $28.8bn
Kuwait City, March 29, 2010
Kuwait's budget surplus widened to 8.33 billion dinars ($28.81 billion) in the first 11 months of its 2009/10 fiscal year due to higher-than-forecast oil income, official data showed.
An oil price recovery from last year's lows is helping Gulf oil exporters boost their budget revenues, allowing them to keep fiscal stimulus packages in place at a time when other countries consider spending cuts.
Kuwait, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, booked a budget surplus of 5.33 billion dinars in the same period of its previous 2008/09 fiscal year. The figure stood at 8.02 billion dinars in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.
Revenues were 16.02 billion dinars at the end of February, about 198 percent of the figure budgeted for the whole fiscal year, data on the finance ministry's website showed.
Oil revenue of the Opec member came in at 15.17 billion dinars, while spending amounted to 7.68 billion dinars, about 63.4 percent of the full-year plan, the data showed.
The state's 2009/10 budget forecast a deficit of 4.85 billion dinars, on the assumption that crude, the main revenue earner, would fetch $35 a barrel. Benchmark US crude was quoted above $80 a barrel on Monday.
The Opec member forecasts a deficit of 7.41 billion dinars in its 2010/11 budget, which will be based on an oil price of $43 a barrel. Kuwait's fiscal year starts in April.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected a fiscal surplus of 23.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, the highest in the Gulf, up from 20.0 percent in the previous calendar year. - Reuters