Cairo - Mubasher: The Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently released its third review reports on both Egypt and Tunisia.
The report indicated that macroeconomic conditions in Egypt have continued to improve during fiscal year 2017/2018, with external and fiscal deficits narrowing, inflation and unemployment declining, and growth accelerating.
The near-term growth outlook is favorable, supported by the recovery in tourism and rising natural gas production, while the current account deficit has fallen below 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) with gross international reserves stood at 7 months of prospective imports at end-May.
On the other hand, inflation is expected to temporarily rise in 2018/2019, reflecting increases in fuel and electricity prices, but the monetary policy stance appears appropriate to contain second-round effects.
The Egyptian government debt ratio is projected to decline markedly in response to fiscal consolidation and high nominal GDP growth.
As for Tunisia, the government has strengthened policy and reform implementation in recent months.
Economic growth picked up to 2.5% in the first quarter, and confidence has improved, albeit it continues to be affected by divisions in the coalition government, risks of security and migration spillovers from Libya, and higher international oil prices, the report highlighted.
Inflation has accelerated and weighs on the purchasing power notably of the less well-off, while international reserves remain below prudent levels, it added.