Kuwait notched up its eighth consecutive budget deficit for the financial year to 31 March 2022 according to the Ministry of Finance’s latest figures. 2021-22’s $9.9bn deficit means Kuwait has now accrued a cumulative deficit of $127bn since it last turned a surplus in 2013-14. To make matters worse, Kuwait’s inability to borrow money means it has had to run down reserves in order to fill the budget’s black-hole.

Still, if Kuwait is to bring an end to this damaging run of deficits, then surely the current 2022-23 financial year is when it will happen. While oil prices steadily rose through the last year, it was Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine that caused them to spike. While the last year had just one month with prices averaging in excess of $100/B, the current year has already had five. Therefore, the 14 November updated version of Kuwait’s 2022-23 budget now only foresees a small $400mn deficit. (CONTINUED - 929 WORDS)