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Egypt’s Trade Deficit Shrinks 18% in January

Egypt’s Trade Deficit Shrinks 18% in January

Monday, 5 April, 2021 - 10:00
Image used for illustrative purpose. A bank employee counts stacks of Egyptian 5 pound and 50 piastre notes as he works at Bank Misr in downtown Cairo, Egypt. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt’s balance of trade deficit shrank by 17.9 percent year-on-year (YoY) in January to $13.5 billion, according to the country’s statics agency.

The exports declined by 8.4% to $2.5 billion in January, while imports fell by 13.9 percent to $5.65 billion, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) stated on Sunday.

The trade balance deficit recorded a significant decrease of 17 percent in 2020 to $38.291 billion compared to the same period in 2019.

Non-oil exports decreased one percent to $25.295 billion in 2020, while imports fell 12 percent to $63.587 billion.

Egypt’s cabinet has recently approved a draft budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 with an expected 6.6 percent deficit.

The 2021/22 draft budget, which targets a primary surplus of 1.5 percent, forecasts revenue of EGP1.3 trillion ($82.75 billion), up from 1.17 trillion pounds this year.

No figure was given for total expenditures. Some EGP87.8 billion ($5.59 billion) were allocated to subsidize supply commodities and farmers.

The planning minister forecast earlier that the economy would grow by 5.4 percent in fiscal 2021/22 with a targeted EGP1.3 trillion in investments, part of a sustainable development plan recently approved by the cabinet.

The country’s budget deficit in the first half of the financial year to June was 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 4.2 percent a year earlier, according to official cabinet data.

The primary surplus in the first half of the current fiscal year amounted to EGY14 billion ($895.7 million).

Egypt’s total budget deficit fell to 7.8 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2019/20, down from 8.2 percent in the FY 2018/19.

The North African country had expected a deficit of 7.2 percent in the fiscal year to June 30, before the coronavirus pandemic hit its economy hard.

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