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Sunday, 6 September 2020

Egyptian economy grows at 3.5% clip in FY2019-2020

Egypt’s economy grew 3.5% in FY2019-2020, falling short of the 3.8% preliminary figure announced in July, Planning Minister Hala El Said said during Thursday’s weekly cabinet meeting. The figure is also in line with government forecasts in June, but was far from the 5.8% pre-covid target. Growth would’ve fallen short of 2% if the government hadn’t intervened to support the economy, El Said added.

Surprise, surprise: The slowdown in growth was concentrated in the final quarter (April-June 2020) as the country’s tourism and manufacturing sectors came under pressure amid the partial lockdown of the economy. Still, many sectors grew in that timeframe, including logistics, real estate, agriculture, healthcare, education, and oil refining, El Said said.

Unemployment on a downward trend? El Said said that the unemployment rate began to drop towards the end of the quarter as the economy began to gradually reopen, but didn’t provide a figure. Figures released last month showed unemployment rising to its highest levels in almost two years in the three months ending June 2020, hitting 9.6% compared to 7.5% a year earlier.

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