CAIRO: Egypt’s budget deficit surged to 230.9 billion EGP in 10 months-from July to April of FY2014/2015, compared to 163.3 billion EGP in the same period last year, Finance Ministry announced Friday.
Total revenues in this period amounted to 321 billion EGP (roughly 13.8 percent of GDP,) compared to 314.8 billion EGP in the same period in the previous FY, the ministry said in its monthly report posted on its website
Meanwhile, total expenses hiked to 541.7 billion EGP, up from 471.8 billion EGP in the same period a year earlier.
“The shortfall since the start of the fiscal year in July until the end of April, amounted to around 9.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)” according to the report.
By March-end, the deficit amounted to 218.3 billion EGP ($28.61 billion,) showing around 12.6 billion EGP increase to 230.9 billion EGP by April-end.
However, the overall shortfall for FY 2014/2015 should not exceed 240 billion EGP (10 percent of GDP,) in the revised budget ratified by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
In Sisi’s tightened budget for FY 2014-2015, the deficit was reduced from 292 billion EGP (14 percent of GDP) in the initial budget draft to 10 percent of GDP.
Egypt’s government is working on slashing the budget deficit to eight percent of GDP in the coming four years, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said earlier in April.
“Egypt has benefitted from the recent dip of oil global prices, which saved around 30 billion EGP. The amount will be allocated to health, education and infrastructure,” Youm7 quoted Salman.
Leaning on macroeconomic stability plans and wide-ranging structural reforms, the International Monetary Fund upgraded its forecast for Egypt’s economic growth in 2015 to 4 percent, from 3.8 percent in its previous assessment.
In its World Economic Outlook (WEO) released in April, the fund said Egypt’s economy is projected to grow by 4.3 percent in 2016, noting that lower oil prices will reduce Egypt’s vulnerabilities as a main oil importer in the Middle East.