CAIRO Feb 27 Egypt's government deficit rose by
more than a third in the seven months to the end of January from
the same period a year earlier, state media reported on
Two years of political turmoil has battered state finances
by driving away foreign investors and tourists, and a sharp fall
in the Egyptian pound has pushed up the cost of subsidies for
imported energy and food.
The deficit hit 119.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($17.8
billion) in the first seven months of the fiscal year, which
begins in July, compared with 88.2 billion a year earlier, the
state news agency MENA said.
Citing a finance ministry report, it said the figure
equalled 6.7 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).
In a revised economic reform plan, the government said it is
targeting a deficit for the whole financial year to June of
189.7 billion pounds, or about 10.9 percent of total economic
output. However, this factored in economic reforms and it
forecast the deficit would hit 12.3 percent of GDP without
Cairo has said it will reopen negotiations early next month
on a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to
bolster its finances. Foreign currency reserves have also fallen
to critical levels.