Egypt halves 2011 economic growth forecast to 2.5%

AFP, Wednesday 6 Apr 2011

Revised rate reflects damaged tourist industry and uncertainty over future foreign investment

Samir Radwan
Finance Minister Samir Radwan and the acting chairman of the Egypt Stock Exchange Mohamed Abdul Salam wave national flags in Cairo (Photo: reuters)

Finance Minister Samir Radwan said on Wednesday that Egypt's economy was expected to grow 2.5 per cent in 2011, around half the rate originally forecast, following regime-changing protests.

"Initial projections point to decreased growth of 2.5 per cent for the current year. It was expected to be 5.8 per cent, up from 4.8 percent in 2010," Radwan told reporters.

Despite the steady growth, however, an unequal distribution of wealth had already put the economy under pressure and had contributed to instability in the country before the protests erupted on January 25.

"The current instability has roots that go far back before January 25, 2011," said Radwan.

The uprising that led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak paralysed Egypt for almost three weeks, damaging its vital tourist industry and creating uncertainty over future foreign investment.

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