Kuwait’s income, surplus at record

Opec member Kuwait has posted record budget surplus and revenues in the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended on March 31 on the back of high oil output and price, an economic report said on Sunday.
The Gulf state posted a historical budget surplus of KD13.2 billion ($47 billion) for the 13th consecutive fiscal year, the Al Shall Economic Consultants said in a report, citing official figures.

The previous highest surplus of KD9.33 billion ($33.2 billion) was posted in the 2007-08 fiscal year when oil prices skyrocketted to a record $147 a barrel.

Kuwait had projected a deficit of $21 billion for 2011-12 because it calculated oil income at $60 a barrel compared to the actual $110 a barrel and oil output at 2.2 million barrels per day compared to the actual production of three million bpd.

Kuwait has projected a deficit in each of the past 13 fiscal years but ended in surplus mainly for calculating oil income at a very conservative price.

During that period, Kuwait has accumulated about $250 billion in budget surpluses and is also expected to end the current year in the black, if oil prices remain high.

Under Kuwaiti law, 10 per cent of revenues are deducted every year in favour of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the assets of which are estimated at about $400 billion. Returns on the fund are not included in the budget.

Revenues in the past fiscal year hit a record KD30.2 billion ($107.5 billion), Al Shall reported, more than twice the budget projections of $47.7 billion.

Last year’s income is 40.5 per cent higher than the previous record of KD21.5 billion ($76.5 billion) posted in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Oil revenues also reached a record KD28.6 billion ($101.7 billion) making up 94.5 per cent of total income and more than twice the budget projections.

Spending was KD17 billion ($60.5 billion), down 12.5 per cent on budget projections but a small five per cent rise from the previous year.

Kuwait has not yet issued its budget for the current fiscal year of 2012-13 although it has started on April 1. —

(AFP) , 6 August 2012