Egypt’s records economic growth of 5%, lower than forecast: Planning ministry

Doaa A.Moneim , Thursday 4 Jun 2020

Egypt's Planning Minister Hala El-Saeed

Egypt’s economic growth rate recorded five percent in the third quarter (3Q) of the current fiscal year (FY) 2019/2020, which came lower than projected. Egypt was expected to record 5.9 percent due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Egypt's Ministry of Planning and Economic Development issued a report on Thursday analysing Egypt’s economic and social performance during the 3Q of FY 2019/2020, saying that COVID-19 has caused a slowdown in economic activities, including tourism, manufacturing, and whole and retail trade.

The report noted that Egypt’s economic growth rate in the 3Q is the best globally thanks to the economic diversity that helped in attaining positive rates.

Petroleum refining, communications, the Suez Canal and construction were the sectors that maintained their growth with 78 percent, 15 percent, 10 percent, and eight percent respectively, according to the report.

For the public investment growth rate, the report showed that the implemented public investments from July 2019 to March 2020 recorded 23 percent, reaching EGP 113 billion thanks to the national mega projects that the state implemented with a total cost of EGP 4 trillion, in addition to the continuity in providing public investments, taking into account rearranging spending priorities.

The report showed that 27 percent of the public investments are directed towards improving citizens’ living standards in transportation, housing, and public utilities, besides directing 23 percent of those investments to the economic development and operating in industry, petroleum and agriculture sectors.

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said declared that the ministry is eager to provide all information regarding the current economic situation and its performance indices in light of the current global financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She added that Egypt’s economy is solid and managed to counter the COVID-19 crisis thanks to Egypt’s economic reform programme that has been implemented since November 2016.

Previously, El-Said announced Egypt’s economy indices of the 3Q and the first nine months of FY 2019/2020 which showed that the economic growth rate has recorded five percent, unemployment rates declined to 7.7 percent, and the inflation rate dropped to 5.3 percent, during the first 10 months, down from 13.3 in FY 2018/2019.

In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Egypt is to be the only country to achieve a positive economic growth in the current FY 2019/2020 in the MENA region, with a projected GDP of 2.8 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing Director of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Heike Harmgart said in an interview with Ahram Online in May that Egypt is likely to see slower economic growth, but no recession.

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