Kuwait posted revenues of 19.2 billion dinars (Dh242.9bn) in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, which ends March 31, thanks to high oil income in the first half of the year, the finance ministry's website said. The revenues are 51.5 per cent higher than the budget target and slightly exceed projected spending for the whole year.
Kuwait earned KWD652 million in revenues in January, the lowest monthly income this year due to a plunge in oil prices, the finance ministry said yesterday. The figure compares to the highest monthly income of $12.9 billion (Dh47.3bn) posted in August a month after oil prices peaked at more than $147 before sliding to around $40.
Oil income makes up more than 90 per cent of public revenue in the Gulf state, which sits on 10 per cent of global crude reserves and pumps around 2.2 million barrels per day.
Kuwait has projected spending at KWD18.996bn and revenues at KWD12.68bn during the fiscal year.
Oil revenues up to the end of January came at KWD18.13bn, up 55.6 per cent on the budget target for the whole year. Spending up to January was KWD10.5bn, just 55 per cent of budgeted outlays for the whole year.
This leaves the oil-rich emirate with a budget surplus of KWD8.7bn in the first 10 months of the year.
The surplus is expected to shrink considerably when the finance ministry makes the end-year accounting adjustments by including pledged spending which has not been registered so far. The results, however, put Opec's fourth largest producer well on track to post a budget surplus for the 10th year straight.
Local economic reports have said the budget surplus will be much smaller than initially forecasted, and it is now estimated at around $10bn – down from the expected $40bn.
Kuwait plans to cut spending in its 2009-2010 budget by a massive 36 per cent and is projecting a huge deficit of KWD4.25bn.
The emirate's $300bn foreign investments have also lost about $31bn due to the global economic downturn. Based on official figures compiled, Kuwait has chalked up a total budget surplus of $113bn over the past nine fiscal years, starting with the 1999-2000 year.