Kuwait Posts $52 Billion Preliminary Surplus in 7 Months

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Kuwait, OPEC’s fourth-biggest producer, had a preliminary budget surplus of 14.67 billion dinars ($52.2 billion) in the first seven months of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, the Finance Ministry said.

Government income was 18.86 billion dinars, including oil revenue of 17.99 billion dinars, and spending was 4.19 billion dinars, according to data posted on the ministry’s website today. Government spending is normally higher in the second half of the year.

The 2012-2013 budget has projected spending of 21.2 billion dinars, which includes about 9 billion dinars for salaries and wages, and revenue of 13.9 billion dinars. The government said it will raise revenue allocations to its Future Generations Fund this fiscal year to 25 percent from 10 percent to “encourage saving.”

Kuwait posted a record budget surplus of 13.2 billion dinars in the 2011-2012 fiscal year as oil prices and output rose. The Gulf state pumped 2.8 million barrels of oil a day in November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While Kuwait’s economy grew 8.2 percent in 2011, it was the slowest among the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries in the previous five years. The International Monetary Fund forecasts economic growth at 6.6 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2013. The country will exhaust all oil revenue by 2017 if the government’s current spending policy continues, the IMF said in May.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net