KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – OPEC member Kuwait posted 46 billion dollars in revenue in the first 10 months of the 2006/2007 fiscal year, up 56 percent on budget estimates due to strong oil prices, a report said.
The figure is up 20 percent on 38.3 billion dollars posted in the same period last fiscal year and just slightly below the 47 billion dollars boasted in the entire year, Al-Shall Economic Consultants said.
Oil revenues reached 43.6 billion dollars, up 20 percent on oil income in the same period last fiscal year and 62.7 percent higher than the budget projection of 26.8 billion dollars, Al-Shall said, quoting official figures.
Oil income in the budget, which contributes 95 percent of total revenues, is calculated at a conservative price of 36 dollars a barrel while the actual price of Kuwaiti oil has averaged around 59 dollars.
The budget for the year, which ends on March 31, is projecting income at 29.5 billion dollars and spending at 37.6 billion dollars, leaving a projected deficit of 8.1 billion dollars.
Local economic reports however have forecast that Kuwait will post a surplus of around 17 billion dollars.
This would be Kuwait’s eighth straight year of windfall.
In the fiscal year that ended March 31, Kuwait posted a record surplus of 23.84 billion dollars, to add to the 30 billion dollars of surplus collected in the previous six years.
Finance Minister Bader Mishari al-Humaidhi has said that Kuwait’s financial assets, which include returns on huge overseas investments, have reached 166 billion dollars.
Kuwait sits on 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves and is pumping around 2.4 million barrels a day. It has a native population of one million people, in addition to two million foreign residents.