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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

What we’re tracking on 18 April 2017

We hope you survived the fiseekh and managed to rest up over the (blessedly uneventful) long weekend. We’re all going to need the energy: It’s a short work week and we have two more holidays coming up (Sinai Liberation Day on 25 April and Labor Day on 1 May), but we’re also entering the pre-Ramadan rush.

Expect lots of talk about growth in the coming week. The World Bank thinks Egypt’s economy will grow 3.9% in 2017 and will unveil its World Economic Outlook 2017 at around 3pm CLT this afternoon. The bank has already released its Egypt Economic Outlook April 2017 report (pdf) and sees growth this year lagging an estimated 4.3% last year before accelerating to 4.6% in 2018 and 5.4% in 2019. Growth this year will largely be a function of public spending and state investment as well as marginal improvement in Egypt’s exports thanks to a weaker EGP. The weaker EGP will also help attract new FDI in the second half of this year and will spur a recovery in the tourism sector. That said, growth will be held back by limited consumer spending in the short term on the back of rising inflation. The World Bank expects inflation to cool thanks to prudent monetary policy and as the one-off effects of the reform agenda wear off. Look for consumer inflation to drop to 20.1% for 2017, then ease to 14.2% next year and 11.4% in 2019. The fiscal deficit should narrow to 10.5% in the next state fiscal year, contingent on the government holding steadfast to its fiscal consolidation plan, including implementing the value-added tax, the report added.

Parts of the April 2017 edition of the World Economic Outlook are already out on the report’s landing page. Chapter two (pdf) covers emerging markets, which the World Bank notes “now account for more than 75 percent of global growth in output and consumption, almost double the share of just two decades ago.” The catch: “With the global economy in the midst of potentially persistent structural shifts, emerging market and developing economies may face a less supportive external environment going forward than they experienced for long stretches of the post-2000 period.” The World Bank’s solution: Reform, and lots of it.

The report comes ahead of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, which will take place 21-23 April. Confirmed attendees (so far) from Egypt include Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer. You can catch Nasr’s pre-meeting press release here (pdf). The minister also plans to meet with US companies in DC this week, sources told Al Mal.

A six-day heat wave begins today, with a forecast high today of 32°C, rising to 38°C on Friday and Saturday. The one upside: Humidity will remain well below 30% all six days, according to the weather folks.

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