Kuwait posts record 72 billion dollar income

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) — Oil-rich Kuwait posted a record actual revenue of 18.93 billion dinars (72.2 billion dollars) in the last fiscal year that ended on March 31, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

The figure is a mammoth 127 percent higher than budget projections of 8.32 billion dinars (31.3 billion dollars), figures posted on the ministry website showed.

Revenues are also up 22 percent from that in 2006/2007 of 15.5 billion dinars (58 billion dollars).

Actual oil revenue also reached a record 17.72 billion dinars (66.6 billion dollars), up 138 percent on budget projections of 7.45 billion dinars (28 billion dollars).

Kuwait, which has been pumping 2.5 million barrels per day, calculated last year's budget at a conservative price of 36 dollars a barrel, when the actual average price topped 75 dollars.

Preliminary figures for spending reached 7.49 billion dinars (28.2 billion dollars), sharply lower than the budget projections of 11.3 billion dinars (42.5 billion dollars).

The figure is likely to increase after the government completes its year-end accounts adjustments.

The emirate posted a provisional surplus of 11.44 billion dinars (43 billion dollars), but the actual final figure is expected to be lower following the adjustments.

Local economic reports have forecast that Kuwait's surplus for the past fiscal year will top 32 billion dollars. The emirate has projected a deficit of 11.2 billion dollars.

This is Kuwait's ninth consecutive year of windfall due to high oil prices. In the eight fiscal years preceding last year, Kuwait's budget surpluses have totalled around 72.5 billion dollars. In all those years, it projected a deficit.

Kuwait's largest surplus was 24 billion dollars in 2005/2006 although it dropped to 18 billion dollars the following year.