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Egypt's BoP deficit jumps 260pct in Jul-Mar on falling tourism revenues, transfers

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Jul 2016
The Central Bank of Egypt (File photo: Reuters)
Views: 3343
Views: 3343

Egypt’s balance of payments deficit (BoP) leaped a whopping 260 percent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year due to ongoing fall of tourism receipts, services income and transfers, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said Sunday.

The overall BoP deficit reached $3.6 billion from July to March in the fiscal year 2015-2016, compared to $1 billion in the same period of the previous year as the current account deficit rose by around 75 percent to reach $14.5 billion from $8.3 billion.

Tourism revenues dropped by 40 percent to $3.3 billion from $5.5 billion during July-March compared to the previous year, according to the CBE.

The CBE attributed the drop in revenues to the decline in the number of nights tourists spent in the country from 73.4 million to as low as 45.1 million.

The trade deficit shrunk slightly during the period in spite of declining export proceeds, falling to $29.3 billion from $29.5 billion as world oil prices declined, the CBE said.

Export proceeds retreated by $3.7 billion to register a total of $13.4 billion during the same period, the bank said in an official release. Non-oil exports rolled back by $1 billion to stand at $9.2 billion.

However, the imports bill dropped by around 8 percent to $42.7 billion from $46.6 billion as the value of both oil and non-oil imports dropped.

According to CBE, the services surplus narrowed by 43.4 percent to $2.4 billion from $4.3 billion over the first three quarters of the current fiscal year.

Net official transfers (which include foreign aid bar loans) plummeted to $60.7 million from $2.6 billion as remittances of Egyptian workers overseas declined to $12.4 billion from to $14.3 billion.

The capital and financial account registered a rise in net inflow, reaching $13.9 billion, compared with $6.6 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year as investment inflows increased.

Foreign direct investment net inflows rose from $5.1 billion to $5.8 billion, with net inflows to green field investments up by 32 percent.

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03-07-2016 11:16pm
The Next 2 years
Regardless of the cause of the decline in all these indicators; what is the PLAN for the next 2 years? What actions are we talking to either (a) reverse the decline in tourism, exports, services, and foreign investments; and/or (b) develop alternatives sectors to right the ship. Whose responsibility it is to develop, communicate, and execute a coherent economic plan? If we accept the fallacy that the US/EU/West are there to get us with their ‘evil forces’ how would the ‘good guys’ plan to avoid the looming bankruptcy? This is not a rhetorical question; we (The Egyptian People) need a real plan, with built-in sacrifices, just tell us what needs to be done, our so called ‘leaders’!
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