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Monday, 4 May 2020

Gov’t cuts growth outlook for FY2020-2021 — again

Gov’t again cuts growth outlook for FY2020-2021: The government has revised downward its growth outlook for FY2020-2021 to 2% from 3.5% should the covid-19 pandemic continue into December, according to a statement by Planning Minister Hala El Said carried by the press. Growth projections for the coming year had already been lowered less than two weeks ago to 3.5% from 4.5% based on the assumption that the crisis would abate by June. GDP figures will be cut by another 30% if it extends past that point, El Said said at the time.

Private sector investment could also fall by up to 30% in FY2020-2021 if the crisis persists until December, El Said said. The government still expects around EGP 740 bn in total investments in the coming year, helped by the 33% increase in state investment to EGP 281 bn allocated in the draft FY2020-2021 budget.

A worse-er case scenario? The government estimated at the end of March that GDP would slow to 3.3-3.5% if the pandemic was to continue through December, labelling this as a “worst case scenario.” The Finance Ministry left its projections for FY2020-2021 GDP growth unchanged from the original assumptions when the ministry drafted the budget before the virus hit but made clear it would revisit its forecasts once the economic impact of the pandemic became clearer.

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