CAIRO: Egypt’s current account deficit for the first nine months of the fiscal year 2014/2015 surged to $8.4 billion, compared to $543.1 million for the same period last year, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced Sunday.
It added Egypt’s transactions with the external world registered an overall Balance of Payments (BOP) deficit worth $1 billion, versus an overall surplus of $ 2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier.
In a Sunday statement, the CBE attributed the hike to several factors, notably a soaring trade deficit.
The trade deficit inched up by 22.7 percent ($29.6 billion) since July 2014 until March of this year, compared to $24.1 in the corresponding period a year earlier, the statement read.
The wider trade deficit was a “direct result” of a 13.8 percent slip in merchandise exports.
“The contraction in exports is traceable to the drop in oil exports receipts, in the wake of the decline in world prices of crude oil by 28.7 percent and 50.1 percent in Q2 and Q3,” the CBE stated.
Crude oil exports comprise around 71.5 percent of Egypt’s total oil exports, and some 28.4 percent of the country’s overall merchandise exports.
The wider current account deficit came despite a $4.2 billion surplus in the service and income balance, mainly driven by tourism revenues’ hike to $5.5 billion since July to March, up from $3.4 billion a year earlier.