Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said that Egypt achieved an increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.3 percent in 2017/2018, up from an average of 2.3 percent between 2011 and 2014.
The minister added that Egypt targets a growth rate of 5.8 percent during the current fiscal year 2018/2019.
This cameduring the minister’s speechat Beltone Access event seriesto shed light on recent macro developments within Egypt’s economic reform program.
Ma'itadded that Egypt needs to continue achieving higher economic growth rates of 7-8 percent given the growing population, which requires increased investment spending.
“Fiscal consolidation efforts have been intact, resulting in a primary budget surplus of 2 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2017/2018 for the first time in 18 years,” he stated.
Overall fiscal deficit was also reduced from a peak of 16.7 percent of GDP in FY13/14 to 9.8 percent of GDP in FY17/18, with an expectation to reach 8.4 percent this fiscal year, Ma’it noted.
During the first quarter of 2018/2019, the minister said that the overall budget deficit fell to 1.9 percent of GDP, compared to an average of 2.3 percent for the same quarter over the past three years, adding that this provided enough funds for increasing spending on social measures, including food subsidies and cash transfers, as well as government investment spending to support growth targets.
The minister of finance also pointed out the debt management strategy to reduce debt-to-GDP ratio as well as debt service cost, whereby total government debt was reduced from 108 percent of GDP in FY16/17 to 98 percent in FY18/19.