November 11, 2019 / 9:17 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt targets 6.4% growth, 6.2% deficit in fiscal 2020/2021 - finance ministry

(Adds detail, background)

CAIRO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Egypt is targeting 6.4% growth and a budget deficit of 6.2% in fiscal year 2020/2021, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Egypt is also targeting a debt-to-GDP ratio of 80%, the ministry said in a preliminary financial statement for next fiscal year’s budget.

“The fiscal year 2020/21 budget is considered a structural reform budget, as it focuses on implementing deep and wide-ranging structural reforms in a large number of areas, with the aim of pushing the private sector to drive the engine of economic growth,” said Finance Minister Mohamed Maait in a statement.

The government is targeting 6% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) this fiscal year, a deficit of 7.2% and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 82%.

The new budget is aimed at “...raising the efficiency of government performance, improving the standard of living of citizens, and improving the services provided to them”, in line with Egypt’s “vision 2030”, the ministry said.

Egypt is drawing to a close a three-year economic reform programme tied to a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, which has been disbursed in full.

That programme included sharply devaluing the currency, slashing fuel subsidies and introducing a value-added tax. The tough measures have strained living conditions for millions of Egyptians, about a third of whom live below the government-set poverty line of 8,827 Egyptian pounds ($548.60) per month. ($1 = 16.0900 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ehab Farouk and Yousef Saba; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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