Egypt revises up budget deficit estimate to 6.9% of GDP in FY2023/24

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 May 2023

Egypt’s government has increased its budget deficit estimate to 6.9 percent of GDP for the fiscal year (FY) 2023/2024, which starts on 1 July, compared to an earlier estimate of 6.3 percent, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait stated in front of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Minister of Planning Hala El-Said in the House of Representatives.
Minister of Planning Hala El-Said in the House of Representatives. (Facebook)


Maait attributed the revised figure to the interest rate hikes in Egypt and global markets, in addition to the increase in the social protection budget and the cost of basic commodities, including food and fuel.

Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, Egypt has been suffering soaring inflation, a shortage in hard currency and a decline in direct and indirect investments.

The finance minister stated in April that the budget for subsidies and social protection would increase by 48.8 percent to EGP 529.7 billion ($17.1 billion) in FY2023/2024 from EGP 358.4 billion ($11.6 billion) in FY2022/2023.

According to the draft of Egypt's general budget for FY2023/2024, the deficit is expected to reach EGP 848.8 billion ($27.4 billion), up from EGP 718 billion ($23.2 billion) in FY 2022/2023.

The draft shows that government spending is anticipated to increase by EGP 755 billion ($24.4 billion) to nearly EGP 3 trillion ($97 billion) in FY2023/2024, while revenue is expected to grow by EGP 624.2 billion ($20.2 billion) to EGP 2.1 trillion ($68 billion).

Egypt expects to attain a 4.1 percent real GDP growth in FY2023/2024 and a primary surplus of 2.5 percent of the GDP.

The World Bank has revised its forecasts for Egypt’s real GDP growth in FY2022/2023 and FY2023/2024 to four percent in both years, down from the 4.5 percent it projected in December of 2022.

The IMF also downgraded its forecast for the country's growth to 3.7 percent in 2023, lower than its previous forecasts of 4.4 percent in October and four percent in January.

Targeted investments

The Egyptian government is planning to increase total investments in the budget by 36 percent to EGP 1.8 trillion ($58.2 billion) in FY2023/2024, compared to EGP 1.32 trillion ($42.7 billion) in the previous year, Minister of Planning Hala El-Said stated in a speech to the House of Representatives.

El-Said revealed that, in FY2023/2024, the top growing sectors are expected to be telecommunications (16.8 percent), tourism (12 percent), Suez Canal (11.9 percent), construction (six percent), healthcare services (5.2 percent), educational services (5.1 percent) and agriculture (4.1 percent).

The agriculture sector will receive around EGP 116.6 billion ($3.8 billion) in investments, up 71 percent from EGP 68 billion ($2.2 billion) in FY 2022/2023.

Investments in the manufacturing industries sector will grow by 20 percent to EGP 100.7 billion ($3.3 billion), compared to EGP 84.2 billion ($2.7 billion) the year before.

The telecommunication sector is set to receive around EGP 83.4 billion ($2.7 billion) in investments, a 49 percent increase from the year before.

Moreover, the electricity and renewable energy sector will receive EGP 81.4 billion ($2.6 billion) in investments, which is expected to increase the generated electricity to 228 billion kilowatt hours and raise the renewable energy contribution to the total energy mix to 11.8 percent.

The FY2023/2024 budget also includes around EGP 436 billion ($14.1 billion) in investments for educational, healthcare, and other social services, which account for 26.4 percent of total investments allocated in the fiscal year. 

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday that the government will hold an international press conference soon to brief media on the situation of the Egyptian economy.

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