Egypt posted a budget deficit of E£218.3bn ($28.7bn), or 9.4% of GDP, for first nine months of fiscal year 2014-15 (July 2014 to March 2015), up from E£145bn, or 7.3% of GDP, in the corresponding period of 2013-14, Egypt’s Ministry of Finance said in its April Financial Monthly. These figures imply a full year 2014-15 deficit of E£291bn ($38.3bn), 21% higher than the budgeted E£240bn ($31.6bn). Compared to the actual budget deficit for 2013-14 of E£255bn ($33.6bn), the estimated deficit for 2014-15 will then represent a smaller increase of 14%. The actual numbers show that the 2013-14 deficit shot up by E£110bn ($14.5bn) in the last three months of the year.

The rise in the deficit in the current year, the ministry says, is attributed to the fact that while in 2013-14 Egypt received exceptional cash and grants to address the structural imbalances after the January 2011 revolution (including $3bn grants from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to E£20.3bn out of the E£29.7bn allocated to finance the first stimulus package), it did not have the same inflow in the corresponding period of 2014-15. If these exceptional inflows were to be excluded from the 2013-14 figures, then the budget deficit in the current year would have risen by much less, the ministry notes. On the revenue side, tax receipts increased by 21.3% to a record E£204.9bn ($27bn) in the first nine months of 2014-15 over the corresponding period of 2013-14, driven by tax reforms adopted since July 2014. On the expenditure side the government’s fiscal reforms targeted the prioritization of public expenditure in favor of lower-income groups, in order to achieve the best social yield through investment in human capital and infrastructure. (CONTINUED - 390 WORDS)