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Jun 02, 2020 PRINT EDITION

DUBAI: Kuwait's budget deficit narrowed to 3.3 billion dinars ($11 billion) in the fiscal year that ended in March, helped by higher than expected oil prices, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The oil-rich Gulf state had registered a 4.8 billion dinar deficit in the previous fiscal year, 2017-18.

State revenue was 20.5 billion dinars in the year to March 31, 2019, compared to the 15 billion dinars that had been projected. That was more than the 16 billion dinars of revenue generated in 2017-18.

An average Kuwaiti crude oil price of $68.62 a barrel during 2018-19 was 37% higher than the $50 a barrel anticipated in the budget.

Oil revenue increased 29% year-on-year to 18.4 billion dinars and non-oil revenue rose 24% year-on-year to 2.1 billion dinars.

Kuwait has projected a 7.7 billion dinar deficit and spending of 22.5 billion dinars for the current fiscal year.

The deficit is calculated after 10% of revenue is transferred to a future generations fund managed by the state Kuwait Investment Authority.

Kuwait's fiscal year starts on April 1 and ends on March 31.

Copyright Reuters, 2019