Kuwait expects more than 1 billion dollar budget surplus
Kuwait's budget for the year 2000 is expected to have a surplus of more than a billion Kuwaiti dinars ($3 billion), according to a new economic report.
The Al-Shall Economic Studies and Advise Institute in Kuwait said in a report distributed to reporters that an increase in exports of consumer goods in the first half of 2000 points to a surplus in the budget.
The report, based on statistics from the Kuwait Central Bank, said the value of exports up to June 2000 was approximately KD29.7 million, about 78.2 percent of the total exports in 1999. It said a KD1743 million surplus was recorded for the first half of the year and an approximate KD3900 million is expected for the second half of the year. If achieved, the 2000 budget surplus would be double that of KD1051 million in the 1996 budget.
The bank statistics point to an expected KD6000 million in consumer goods exports for the third quarter of this year. Kuwait's highest export value was KD4458 million in 1996.
However, the report expects an increase in imports during the second half of the year to fulfill demands and cover the affects of the Al-Ahmadi refinery fire. The fire has forced Kuwait to import some petroleum byproducts.
Kuwaiti sources speaking on condition of anonymity told Albawaba in a telephone interview that the surplus will not increase government spending, especially that the a large portion of the Kuwaiti government expenditure has been on the defense sector since the 1990 Iraqi invasion. Still, the source said, the government is keen on reviving the economy by encouraging the private sector to administer some governmental facilities.
The source said the government plans to re-build the "Next Generation Reserve" which was depleted over the years to cover defense expenditures, the drop in oil prices, and the stock market debts. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
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