Kuwait's budget surplus reached 6.44 billion dinars ($22.34 billion) in the fiscal year that ended in March, below preliminary estimates partly due to higher expenditures, final data from the Gulf country showed late on Monday.
A recovery in crude prices helped Kuwait, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, avoid sinking into the red for the year.
The country is expected to have the biggest fiscal surplus in the Gulf Arab region in 2010/11 despite a planned 34 percent jump in government spending.
Excluding a transfer of revenue to Kuwait's future generations fund, data from the finance ministry's website showed that the budget surplus came to 20.4 per cent of the country's 2009 gross domestic product, based on Reuters calculations. Preliminary figures in May showed that the Opec member's surplus stood at 8.18 billion dinars for last fiscal year, compared with an expected deficit of 4.05 billion.
Revenues came to 17.69 billion dinars last fiscal year, slightly down from May's preliminary estimates but more than double initial expectations due to higher crude income.
Oil income came to 16.85 billion dinars in 2009-10, far more than the 6.92 billion expected, the data showed. Kuwait had based its budget on a conservative crude price estimate of $35 a barrel.
Benchmark US crude was trading above $74 a barrel on Monday.
Expenditures reached 11.25 billion dinars last fiscal year, 93 per cent of the planned amount and up from the 9.75 billion reported in May.
Kuwait often lags behind its spending plans unlike some fellow Gulf oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, which tends to heavily overspend its budget.
In June, the Kuwaiti parliament passed an expansionary 16.3 billion dinar budget for the 2010/11 fiscal year, forecasting a deficit of 7.55 billion dinars.
Analysts polled by Reuters forecast that Kuwait would book a fiscal surplus of 18.6 percent of gross domestic product this fiscal year.