Kuwait doubles budget income thanks to oil

AFP, Wednesday 25 Apr 2012

Gulf state's income stood at a record $96.8 billion at the end of February, according to finance ministry data

Kuwait has posted twice the revenues it predicted for its 2011-2012 budget in only 11 months of the fiscal year, thanks to the high price and output of oil, official data shows.

The Gulf state's income stood at a record $96.8 billion by the end of February, up from the budget projection of $48.4 billion for the year to 31 March, according to figures posted on the finance ministry website late on Monday.
The revenues rose 44.1 percent from a year ago mainly due to higher oil prices and a sharp increase in output to about 3.0 million barrels per day from around 2.3 million bpd the previous year.
Oil income, which accounts for 95 percent of public revenue, reached $91.7 billion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, up 45.8 percent from a year ago.
Budget revenues from oil had been calculated at a conservative price of $60 a barrel, while the actual average price for the 11 months was $109 a barrel.
Spending, meanwhile, was almost half of that foreseen in the budget. The ministry data showed expenditure at $38.9 billion after 11 months, from the budget estimate of $70 billion.
This leaves a provisional budget surplus of $57.9 billion, double that of the previous year. It will be the 13th straight year of a surplus for Kuwait, which has amassed more than $200 billion in surpluses in the past 12 years.
Both the actual revenue and budget surplus are the highest ever achieved by Kuwait.
Kuwait's previous record revenues was $79 billion in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, while its largest budget surplus was $33.5 billion in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
National Bank of Kuwait forecast Tuesday that the actual budget at the end of the fiscal year will be lower at around $43 billion due to end-of-year accounting adjustments.
Under Kuwaiti law, 10 percent of revenues are deducted every year to go into the emirate's sovereign wealth fund. Returns on the fund are not included in the budget.
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