Egypt is going to the polls early next week to elect a new president. But this comes against a backdrop of economic woes characterized by a serious energy crisis, high unemployment and inflation, and a worryingly high budget deficit.

Presidential candidate Field Marshall Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who is widely expected to win, has said that he will target a GDP growth rate of 7%, and a decrease in the unemployment rate to 8% by fiscal year 2017-18, targets which appear to be highly ambitious, considering current circumstances. He says he is also planning to reduce to “safe levels” the budget deficit to 8.5% of GDP and the public debt by 74.5% by 2017-18. (CONTINUED - 577 WORDS)