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Kuwait’s public expenditure unabated by oil downturn

Primary deficit of KWD1.8 billion posted, expected to touch KWD5.2bn by end of fiscal year

Kuwait’s government expenditure in the first seven months of the current year increased despite the fall in oil prices, which edged down below the average $45 a barrel upon which this year’s budget was based.

Public capital spending continued to improve despite the fact that revenues remain under heavy pressures due to lower oil prices, the National Bank of Kuwait says in a report.

The state’s budget posted a primary deficit of KWD1.8 billion but will surge to KWD5.2bn by the end of the fiscal year 2015-2016 to comprise 2.6 per cent of gross domestic product.

The report indicates that public expenditure stabilised in October at KWD5.7bn since the beginning of the current year, down by 24 per cent.

The report also reveals that salaries and wages stood at KWD1.9bn since the beginning of the current year, down by one per cent year-on-year.

Spending on projects, maintenance and purchase of land amounted to KWD620 million. Additionally, investment spending comprised 20 per cent of the budget in the first six months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

(KWD1 = AED12.09, at the time of publishing)