Egypt's Ministry of Finance has announced that the budget deficit increased to EGP 236.7 billion, which is 3.8 percent of GDP, in the first half of FY 2019/20,up from EGP 186.7 billion, 3.6 percent, in H1 FY2018/19.
According to the semi-annual fiscal performance report tracking the state financial indices from July to December for FY 2019/2020, the total surplus of payment balance recorded $200 million through the first quarter of FY2019/2020, while international reserves increased to $45.4 billion in December 2019.
The report also showed that H1 of FY2019/2020 witnessed an increase in public disbursements by 20 percent for health, 14 percent for education, 3.3 percent for supply goods subsidies, 29.3 percent for the health insurance programme, in addition to spending EGP 80 billion for pensions and insurances.
The report outlined the total fiscal objectives that the ministry targets to achieve by the end of FY 2019/2020, including recording an initial financial surplus of 2 percent, decreasing the financial deficit ratio to the GDP to 7.2 percent, lowering the public debt ratio to GDP to 83 percent.
It also highlighted a number of financial risks that could affect the state public budget negatively, including the slowdown in global economic growth, which is expected to reach 3.4 percent in 2020, down from 3.6 percent in 2018, in addition to the global trade growth decrease that could affect public revenues.
According the Ministry of Finance’s statement, amendments on public budget items have been applied for the sake of increasing the allocations for the education and health ministries, with a total sum of EGP 9.9 billion.