Kuwait increased its budget surplus by 6% to almost KD5bn (KD4.96bn, $17.6bn) for the financial year ending March 2014. This came despite lower oil prices, and thus oil revenue, as the country slashed spending by over 2% to KD18.9bn ($67.1bn).

Oil revenues fell by 2.3% to KD29.29bn in nominal terms – indicating a real-terms fall of over 5%, given 3% inflation. The average price for Kuwait crude exports was $103.9/B for the 2013-14 financial year, down almost $3/B on the previous year. Oil export volumes were also slightly down (see table). But non-oil revenues soared (albeit from a low base) to KD2.5bn, up 24% on a year earlier, boosted by a buoyant real estate sector. Oil’s share of revenue thus edged lower to just over 92% (such figures can be misleading as much of the ‘non-oil’ sector in Gulf countries is typically made up of petrochemicals and associated industries). (CONTINUED - 693 WORDS)