Egypt GDP grows 1.9 pct in 10/11, 2.4 pct growth predicted for 11/12: Govt official

Ahram Online, Monday 13 Feb 2012

Government official announces disappointing growth figures for 2010/11, predicts improvement in 2011/12

Egypt economy struggles to return to its pre-uprising growth levels (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's growth rate for the 2010/11 financial year reached 1.9 per cent, Magdy Emam, head of the planning ministry's infrastructure division told a parliamentary committee on Monday.

The country's economy grew by 5.1 per cent in the 2009/10 fiscal year, up from 4.7 per cent the previous year.

Emam said growth between March and July 2011, the last quarter of the financial year, was 0.4 per cent compared to 5.4 per cent in the previous year.

As for the following quarter, July to September 2011, growth rate reached 0.2 per cent, a drop below the previous quarter, figures from the ministry of planning show. On a yearly basis, this quarter saw a significant drop in growth rate which had reached 5.5 per cent in July to September 2010.

The mentioned drop is mainly driven by shrinkage in industrial activities by 3.3 per cent, construction by 2.8 per cent and tourism by a whopping 10.4 per cent below last year. These drops where partially offset by growths in Suez Canal revenues by 8.2 per cent, Communications by 3.7 and public utilities by 5.2.

The Egyptian economy has been hit by ongoing instability since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Net international reserves fell by more than 50 per cent during 2011.

The economy will grow 2.4 per cent in 2011/2 according to government estimates, added Emam.

This estimate is in line with an earlier World Bank estimate that predicted growth of 2.3 per cent in 2012.

He added that LE300 million had been assigned for social housing in the coming year's financial plan. The plan entails building one million units; 30,000 of which are to be funded by the armed forces.

Emam also indicated that despite budget cuts, the government is committed to finishing all infrastructure projects that are more than 80 per cent complete.

"We have already received LE1 billion out of LE2 billion that is assigned to this cause," Emam added.


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