A family buys groceries at a market (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's trade balance deficit dropped by a third in May 2013 below the same month last year, to reach LE16 billion ($2.3 billion), the latest figures from the official statistics body CAPMAS showed Sunday.
The trade deficit was LE23.05 billion in May 2012.
Even so, this May's figure remains well above that of May 2010, before the January 2011 uprising, when the trade deficit was recorded at LE9.6 billion.
The annual drop in May 2013 is mainly attributed to a 16 percent drop in imports, to reach LE33 billion. Exports grew slightly, by three percent, to reach LE16.8 billion.
In the beginning of 2013, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) imposed restrictions on the supply of foreign currency in the Egyptian market to put a brake on drainage of the country's net international reserves.
On 4 September, the CBE sold $1.3 billion in a currency auction, aimed at providing liquidity to essential imports such as wheat, meat and cooking oil.
Egypt's foreign currency reserves inched up by $34 million in August to reach $18.91 billion.