Egypt’s growth rate stands at 2.2 percent for the current 2012/13 fiscal year ending 30 June, the same rate seen in the last fiscal year, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website reported Tuesday, citing Egypt's investment minister.
At a Tuesday press conference, Investment Minister Yehia Hamed announced that the Egyptian economy remained constant, despite the poor growth rate. He attributed the latter to the country's large budget deficit, which currently stands at LE220 billion (roughly $31.4 billion), representing 11.5 percent of national GDP.
Hamed's figures were below the government’s expectations in March, when it predicted that economic growth would rise by 3 percent in the 2012/13 fiscal year.
However, the recently-announced growth rate exceeded the expectations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which cut its 2013 growth forecast for the Egyptian economy to 2 percent in its April 2013 World Economic Outlook report – down from the 3 percent initially predicted last October.
According to recent data from the planning ministry, Egypt’s economic growth rate in the second quarter of 2012/13 stood at 2.2 percent, representing a 15.3 percent decrease on the previous quarter. Third- and fourth-quarter growth rate reports have yet to be released by the ministry.
Hamed asserted that the government hopes to increase the country’s growth rate by 3.5 percent in 2013/14 by attracting some $600 million in foreign investment, compared to a current $300 million.
According to official data from the Central Bank of Egypt, net foreign direct investments during the second quarter of 2012/13 reached some $193.3 million, while total implemented investments in 2011/12 were worth a total of $33.7 billion.