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Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Gov’t ups 2021-2022 growth forecast to 6%

Gov’t ups growth forecast: The Planning Ministry has upgraded its FY2021-2022 growth forecast for the Egyptian economy to 6% or more, from 5.6%, minister Hala El Said told Bloomberg Asharq yesterday.

This would be almost double last year’s growth: The economy grew 3.3% during FY 2020-2021, according to official figures.

The forecast is more optimistic than other estimates: The IMF last week revised upwards its 2021-2022 forecast to 5.6%, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank — as well as a Reuters poll of economists — predicted during the last quarter that the economy would grow 4.9-5.1% this year.

We still haven’t seen any official GDP data since the turn of the fiscal year in July, though El Said yesterday signaled that growth likely surpassed the 6-7% forecast for 2Q2021 in an interview with CNBC Arabia (watch, runtime: 5:15). Preliminary figures released last year suggest the economy grew by 9.8% in 1Q — its quickest pace in two decades — thanks to a favorable base effect.

Unemployment levels for 4Q2021 are not expected to rise above the 7.5% posted in 3Q2021, considering the number of jobs currently available, El Said also noted.

New growth figures to land in February: “We would like to assure everyone that the growth figures for the current quarter are better than expectations and we will announce the figures in mid-February,” El Said told the news website, without elaborating.

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