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Kuwait Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewKuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - more than 6% of world reserves. Kuwaiti officials plan to increase production to 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020. Petroleum accounts for over half of GDP, 92% of export revenues, and 90% of government income.

In 2015, Kuwait, for the first time in 15 years, realized a budget deficit after decades of high oil prices; in 2016, the deficit grew to 16.5% of GDP. Kuwaiti authorities announced cuts to fuel subsidies in August 2016, provoking outrage among the public and National Assembly, and the Amir dissolved the government for the seventh time in ten years. In 2017 the deficit was reduced to 7.2% of GDP. Despite Kuwait’s dependence on oil, the government has cushioned itself against the impact of lower oil prices, by saving annually at least 10% of government revenue in the Fund for Future Generations.

Kuwait has failed to diversify its economy or bolster the private sector, because of a poor business climate, a large public sector that employs about 76% of citizens, and an acrimonious relationship between the National Assembly and the executive branch that has stymied most economic reforms. The Kuwaiti Government has made little progress on its long-term economic development plan first passed in 2010. While the government planned to spend up to $104 billion over four years to diversify the economy, attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy, many of the projects did not materialize because of an uncertain political situation or delays in awarding contracts.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$302.5 billion (2017 est.)
$308.9 billion (2016 est.)
$301.5 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$118.3 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-2.1% (2017 est.)
2.5% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$69,700 (2017 est.)
$73,100 (2016 est.)
$73,400 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving24.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 43%
government consumption: 24.5%
investment in fixed capital: 28%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 50.2%
imports of goods and services: -45.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.4%
industry: 58.7%
services: 40.9% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force2.695 million
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate2.1% (2017 est.)
2.1% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 14.6%
male: N/A
female: N/A (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $52.87 billion
expenditures: $61.39 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues44.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-7.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt26.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
17.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.5% (2017 est.)
3.5% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate2.5% (31 December 2016)
1.25% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.2% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$33.35 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$31.87 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$121.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$116.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$102.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$98.92 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$81.78 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$83.13 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$99.77 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - productsfish
Industriespetroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate-1.5% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$714 million (2017 est.)
-$4.997 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$54.09 billion (2017 est.)
$46.26 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesoil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partnersSouth Korea 16.8%, China 14.4%, Japan 9.6%, India 9.2%, US 7.5%, Singapore 5.6% (2016)
Imports$29.36 billion (2017 est.)
$30.82 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partnersChina 14.1%, US 11.9%, UAE 8.3%, Japan 6.5%, Germany 6.2%, India 5.4%, Italy 5%, Saudi Arabia 4.4%, South Korea 4.4% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$33.13 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$31.13 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$48.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$38.34 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$13.07 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.62 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$79.62 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$74.13 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesKuwaiti dinars (KD) per US dollar -
0.3041 (2017 est.)
0.3022 (2016 est.)
0.3022 (2016 est.)
0.3009 (2014 est.)
0.2845 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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