Kuwait expects budget surplus in 2002/3

13 December 2002

The government is projected to end fiscal 2002/3 in March with a budget surplus of KD 200 million-470 million ($644 million-1,513 million), according to the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). The surplus will exclude the mandatory 10 per cent allocation for the Reserve Fund for Future Generations.

'With Kuwaiti crude prices expected to be $22.8-25.1 [a barrel] with a middle-level forecast of $23.5 [a barrel], and assuming OPEC production is held back, we expect an appreciable surplus,' a senior NBKofficial said in early December.

Total revenues in 2002/3 are forecast to reach KD 5,100 million-5,570 million ($16,422 million-17,935 million), while total expenditure is projected at KD 4,900 million-5,100 million ($15,778 million-16,422 million), according to NBK.

The Finance Ministry is expected to post a half-year net budget surplus of KD 705 million ($2,270 million) for fiscal 2002/3, NBK said in a 30 November report.'The result reflects a slight deterioration from a year ago, with a surplus of 12 per cent. A higher spending level and a slight decrease in revenues led to the decline,' the report said.

The 2002/03 budget had projected total revenues of KD 1,761 million ($5,469 million) and total expenditure of KD 2,714 million ($8,428 million), leaving a deficit of KD 953 million ($2,960 million). The figures were drawn up on a pro-rata annual basis, after the government decided to change its fiscal year from July-June to April-March.

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