Kuwait’s government budget surplus totalled KD6.07 billion ($20.86 billion) in the first three months of this fiscal year as expenditure lagged far behind the initial plan, preliminary finance ministry figures showed on Wednesday.
The major oil exporter’s public expenditure was KD1.71 billion in April-June, well below KD5.8 billion dinars originally earmarked for the period. It was equivalent to only 7.4 per cent of the KD23.2 billion spending plan for the 2014/15 fiscal year.
The OPEC member has undershot its budget plans repeatedly in recent years as political disputes have delayed budget approvals in parliament as well as much-needed investment spending.
State revenue was KD7.78 billion in April-June, well above the KD5.02 billion originally projected for the period. Oil income stood at KD7.22 billion.
Kuwait has one of the strongest fiscal positions among the Gulf oil exporters; it needs a crude oil price of just $54 per barrel for its state budget to break even, according to the International Monetary Fund. But its heavy dependence on oil income makes its economy more vulnerable to lower crude prices and output.