Breaking: Egypt's economy shrinks 4.2 per cent in first quarter 2011
Ahmed Feteha, Sunday 12 Jun 2011
Revolution takes its toll, as GDP growth enters negative territory with tourism and manufacturing seeing the biggest drops


Egypt's GDP saw negative growth of 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, official data showed on Sunday.

Minister of Planning, Fayza Abul Naga, announced the economic indicators at a press conference, declaring tourism the sector most affected by Egypt's revolution, down 33 per cent on 4Q 2010.

This left average GDP growth at 2.3 per cent for the entire July 2010- March 2011 period.

The released figures were better than expected.

The Minister of Finance said at the beginning of May that the economy had shrunk 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2011.

Private investment is still positive, albeit slower-growing. "Private sector investment declined 16.3 per cent," said Abul Naga.

Public investment declined too, reaching LE28 billion, down from LE42 billion.

Reluctance of decision makers and scarcity of resources were the two main reasons behind a decline in public investments at the beginning of Egypt's unrest, Fayza Abul Naga tells Ahram Online. "Since the beginning of the crisis, officials were hesitant to take decisions and this is something we are working on today."

Egypt's manufacturing sector shrank by 12 per cent, while construction fell 9.1 per cent. Telecoms and electricity and utilities posted however, positive growth of 2.8 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/14160.aspx