Egypt’s economic growth to shrink 3% in H2
Minister of Planning Ashraf el-Araby - YOUM7/Kareem-Abdul kareem
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CAIRO: Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow by three percent in the second half (H2) of FY 2014/2015 (to end June 30,) down from 5.6 percent in H1, said Minister of Planning Ashraf el-Araby Wednesday.

The government aims to reach a 6 percent growth rate, a 20-24 percent investment rate and to increase the foreign reserves to $28 billion, as well reduce the poverty rate to 17 percent and unemployment rate to 10 percent in the next four years, Araby said in a press conference to announce the government plan for the fiscal year 2015/2016.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said Egypt’s real  GDP growth hit 4.3 percent (y/y) in 2014/15 Q2, recording 5.6 percent (y/y) in the first half of the fiscal year, powered by the 6.8 percent record growth witnessed in Q1, the highest annual growth rate since 2007/08 Q4.

In 2013/14 FY real GDP growth recorded 2.2 percent.

The bank cited the expansion of economic activity during 2014/2015 Q2 to the manufacturing sector’s ongoing growth, along with the expansion of tourism activities for the second straight quarter after several quarters of contraction.

Also, investment continued to improve for the 4th consecutive quarter, regardless of the widening trade deficit responsible for stalling GDP growth, said the CBE, adding that investments in domestic mega projects such as the Suez Canal will boost economic growth.

“The inflation rate reduced by 0.3 percent in the period between July and March, compared to the same period in the last fiscal year,” Araby stated Wednesday.

He added that unemployment rate slipped for the first time in three years to 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 13.3 percent in the previous quarter, according to state statistical body CAPMAS.

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