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Thursday, 2 September 2021

We smashed growth expectations in 4Q2020-2021

Egypt’s economy grew at a 7.7% clip in 4Q2020-2021, accelerating from a contraction of 1.7% during the final quarter of the previous fiscal year — and up from the 2.9% growth recorded in 3Q2020-2021 quarter, Planning Minister Hala El Said said during a Cabinet meeting yesterday. Reuters also has the story.

The figure significantly exceeds the government’s quarterly target: The Planning Ministry had penciled in a 5.2-5.5% growth rate for the quarter, which wrapped up on 31 June. Growth in the sectors most affected by covid-19 — including hospitality, restaurants, construction, natural gas, and electricity — drove the rebound, the minister said.

Preliminary indicators put our growth for the 2020-2021 (the state’s last fiscal year) at 3.3%, a drop from the 3.6% recorded in FY2019-2020 and the 5.6% growth recorded in FY2018-2019, thanks to the covid-19 induced economic slowdown.

But q-o-q growth is looking strong: Egypt has seen steady gains in its quarterly growth figures, from 0.7% in 1Q2020-2021, to 2% and 2.9% in the second and third quarters respectively, the minister said.

Growth during the first half of the fiscal year clocked in at 1.35%, a significant y-o-y drop from the pre-covid 5.6% growth rate recorded in 1H2019-2020, the minister previously said. Logistics, agriculture, education and healthcare led the rebound throughout the fiscal year, and are expected to continue to do so further into FY2021-2022.

The outlook for the state’s current fiscal year looks pretty good: The Finance Ministry expects the Egyptian economy will return to near pre-pandemic growth levels in FY2021-2022, expanding at a 5.4% clip. Revised forecasts from the IMF put growth for the current 2021-2022 fiscal year at 5.7%, just slightly lower than the 5.8% pre-covid target the government was hoping to achieve in FY2019-2020. The African Development Bank sang a similarly upbeat tune, expecting GDP growth of 4.9% in 2022.

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