Budget deficit continues to narrow in 1H2017-18
Budget deficit continued to narrow in 1H2017-18: Egypt’s budget deficit declined to 4.4% of GDP in 1H2017-18, down from 5% during the same period last year, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said at a meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. The primary budget deficit also fell to 0.3% of GDP for the first six months of FY2017-18, down from 1.1% last year and the lowest primary budget deficit recorded in the past 10 years, El Garhy added, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. This largely came on the back of 38% y-o-y growth in state revenues in 1H2017-18 from a sharp 61% uptick in tax revenues. On the flipside, expenditure on food subsidies had risen as well to EGP 23.3 bn during the first half, a 65% y-o-y jump over 1H2016-17. Spending on the Takaful and Karama social welfare program had risen 141% y-o-y in 1H2017-18 to EGP 9 bn, according to the statement.