Egypt finmin says economy shrank 7 pct in Q3

Reuters, Thursday 21 Apr 2011

Egypt's economy contracted by an estimated 7 percent in the January-to-March quarter as its popular revolt disrupted business and scared away tourists and investors, a newspaper quoted the finance minister as saying.

A military council has ruled Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was swept from power on February 11.

The Jan-March period is the third quarter of Egypt's 2010-2011 fiscal year.

"The Egyptian economy contracted 7 percent during the first three months of the current year ... according to (Finance Minister) Samir Radwan," newspaper al-Shorouk reported.

Radwan said he expected Egyptian gross domestic product to grow 2 percent in the current fiscal year, the paper said.

State news agency MENA earlier this month quoted Radwan as forecasting GDP growth of 2.5 to 3 percent in the current fiscal year. Before the unrest began in January, the government had been predicting growth of around 6 percent.

"Borrowing is the solution for the current problem," al-Shorouk quoted Radwan as saying. "The balance of payments loses $3 billion every month and tourism $1 billion."

Egypt is seeking $10 billion in funding from global lenders and rich nations to cope with the fallout of the mass protests.

The country will receive a $2.2 billion loan from the World Bank at an interest rate of 3 percent to be repaid over 18 years, al-Shourouk quoted Radwan as saying

"Revolutions come at a price," Radwan told the paper. "The cost in Egypt is very low compared to other countries that have gone through the same circumstances."


Search Keywords:
Short link: