In a research note on 11 May, NBK analysts said Opec cuts and renewed optimism in economic recovery on a global level have pushed crude oil prices up, with Kuwait’s benchmark Kuwait Export Crude (KEC) trading above $55 a barrel for the first time this year on 7 May.

If oil prices remain above $50 a barrel, $10 above budget levels, and Kuwait continues its recent trend of underspending by about 5-10 per cent, a budget surplus is likely, the analysts said.

“Full year 2009-2010 may yet see another healthy surplus,” said the brief. “Lower oil revenues are likely to be more than offset by projected cuts in expenditures.”

Preliminary figures released by the country’s Finance Ministry suggest a budget surplus of KD6.09bn.