Egypt's economic growth rate shrank by 0.5 percent, recording 1 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of the 2013/14 fiscal year, down from 1.5 percent in the final quarter 2012/13, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.
The growth rate during the period between July-September 2013 was down 1.6 percent as compared to the same quarter of the fiscal year 2012/13, where the growth rate stood at 2.6 percent.
Meanwhile, gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices rose from LE445.8 billion ($64 billion) in the Q1 of 2012/13 to LE518 billion ($74.4 billion) in the Q1 of 2013/14, according to data from the finance ministry.
Total investment rose annually by 45.4 percent to LE54.6 billion ($7.8 billion) in the July-September period of 2013/14, up from LE49.3 billion ($7 billion) in the same quarter 2012/13. However, total investment fell by 45.4 percent quarter-on-quarter.
Egypt's minister of planning and international cooperation Ashraf El-Araby was not optimistic about growth prospects for the Q1 of the current 2013/14 fiscal year, which began in July.
“It is normal to have slow growth in the first three months of every fiscal year,” El-Araby told Ahram Online in September. “But in this fiscal year (2013/14) we will see poorer growth due to a variety of incidents that might have had negative impacts.”
The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, a new government, the dispersal of Islamist sit-ins in Cairo and Giza after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi amid nationwide protesters against his rule, followed by the imposition of a state of emergency and a curfew, were all taking their toll on the country’s growth, El-Araby added.
Egypt’s budget deficit shrank by 6.3 percent in the first half of the 2013/14 fiscal year, as compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to the finance ministry's latest bulletin.
The deficit reached LE89.4 billion ($12.9) between July and December 2013, down from the LE91.4 billion ($13.3) recorded in the first half of the previous fiscal year.