KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Kuwait posted a preliminary budget surplus of $28.9 billion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year despite projecting a deficit, the finance ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said that revenues until the end of February reached $55.5 billion, around twice as much as it had projected for the whole 2009-2010 fiscal year which ends on March 31.
Oil revenues contributed 94.7 percent of total income.
Oil income to the end of February reached $52.5 billion, or more than twice the $24.1 billion projected by the budget for the whole year.
Kuwait had projected a shortfall of $14 billion in the current year after calculating oil income at a conservative price of $35 a barrel, with the actual price more than twice as high.
The emirate’s spending during the 11 month period was $26.6 billion, just 63.4 percent of projected expenditure for the whole year of $42.1 billion, the ministry figures showed.
The huge budget surplus is expected to be lower at the end of the fiscal year due to end-of-year accounting adjustments when pledged expenditure not included so far will be added to the closing statements.
Kuwait has been projecting a deficit in each of the past 11 fiscal years because it calculates oil income at a highly conservative price.
However, it ended 10 of those years with a huge surplus and is headed for a windfall exceeding $20 billion for this year.
Parliament in the oil-rich Gulf state last month approved a $104 billion development plan for the next four years, starting April 1, that includes a large number of mega-projects.