The usual? Kuwait's budget surplus being eaten away by uncontrolled spending
Kuwait’s provisional budget surplus shrank 15 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal year mainly due to a sharp jump in expenditures, the finance ministry said on Tuesday. The OPEC member posted a preliminary budget windfall of KD10.7 billion ($37.8 billion, €27.5 billion) in the period ending September 30, compared to KD12.6 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to figures posted on the ministry website.
Kuwait’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31. The main reason for the sharp drop in surplus is a 50 per cent jump in spending to KD5.1 billion by the end of September from KD3.4 billion a year ago, the official data showed. Revenues remained almost unchanged at KD15.8 billion compared to KD16 billion a year ago. Oil income, which makes up around 95 per cent of total revenues, dropped slightly from KD15.4 billion in the 2012-2013 fiscal year to KD15 billion in the current year.
Kuwait is projecting spending in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, at KD21 billion, with revenues at KD18.1 billion, leaving a deficit of KD2.9 billion.In the previous 2012/2013 fiscal year, the emirate posted an actual surplus of KD12.7 billion. Revenues came in at a record KD32 billion and spending was KD19.3 billion.
Kuwait posted a record surplus of 13.2 billion dinars in the 2011/2012 fiscal year. Kuwait has ended the last 14 fiscal years in the black, accumulating more than $300 billion in surpluses. Kuwait decided for the second year in a row to transfer 25 percent of revenues into the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, the assets of which are currently estimated at over $400 billion.