Egypt's budget deficit rises July-Sept as subsidy spending increases

Ahram Online , Friday 11 Dec 2015

File Photo: Egypt's Ministry of Finance (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s total budget deficit rose to register 2.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product during the first quarter of the 2015/2016 fiscal year as the government spent more money on subsidies, finance ministry data showed.

In the first quarter, June to September, the deficit amounted to LE78.3 billion, compared to LE65.8 billion within the same period of the last fiscal year, according to the ministry’s monthly bulletin which was published on Thursday.

The government increased spending on subsidised food, electricity and social benefits by an additional LE13 billion from June to September 2015, raising the expenditures to record LE170 billion versus LE141 billion in the same period of the 2014/2015 fiscal year.

The subsidy bill in the first quarter of 2015/16 reached LE38 billion from LE25.5 billion in same quarter of previous year, while the government increased public wages by around LE2.7 billion, driving the total amount to LE55.3 billion or 5.2 percent of GDP.

The state’s revenues rose to LE100 billion in the above-mentioned period, against LE76.5 billion last year.

Egypt revised its GDP target for the current fiscal year to 5.5 percent from 5 percent last week and said its economy had grown by 4.2 percent in the 2014/2015 fiscal year, up from 2.2 percent the previous year.

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