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Egypt's trade gap narrows 25 percent on year in May - state agency

Reuters , Wednesday 3 Aug 2016

Egypt's trade deficit was 24.6 percent smaller in May compared with a year earlier, the statistics agency said on Wednesday, as the government seeks to promote exports while minimising imports to manage a chronic shortage of hard currency.

The trade deficit was 25.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.8 billion), down from 33.4 billion in the same month a year earlier, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said in a statement.

Egypt has run short of foreign currency since a popular uprising in 2011 drove away tourists and foreign investors, leaving it struggling to pay for imports, from wheat to consumer goods.

The central bank has been rationing dollars, giving priority to imports of essential goods and to exporters who need to import raw material for manufacturing.

Exports increased by 9.1 percent in May to 18.3 billion pounds, CAPMAS said.

Imports decreased by 13.3 percent, reaching 43.5 billion pounds in May versus 50.2 billion pounds in the same month a year earlier, it said.

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