January 30, 2019 / 3:13 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt's GDP grew 5.4 pct in first half of fiscal year, minister says

(Adds ministry statement, new numbers, background)

CAIRO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Egypt’s gross domestic product grew by 5.4 percent in real terms in the first half of the current fiscal year, up from 5.2 percent a year earlier, the country’s planning minister said on Wednesday.

Egypt is targeting real economic growth of 5.6 percent in the second half of the fiscal year, Hala al-Saeed said in a statement. Real economic growth of 5.8 percent is expected this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Earlier, two government sources told Reuters that GDP grew 5.6 percent in the first half of the fiscal year. Economists polled by Reuters earlier this month expected growth of 5.3 in the fiscal year.

Egypt is pushing ahead with tough economic reforms as part of a $12 billion, three-year IMF loan deal signed in November 2016.

The reforms, aimed at attracting investors who fled during Egypt’s 2011 uprising, have included new taxes, cuts to energy subsidies and a currency devaluation, putting the budgets of tens of millions of Egyptians under strain. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Lena Masri; editing by Larry King)

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