Egypt’s budget deficit soared to E£131.5bn ($8.0bn) for the first quarter of the current 2019-20 financial year (July-September 2019) from E£102.4bn ($5.7bn) a year earlier. This puts Egypt on track to notch up an overall deficit of at least E£500bn for 2019-20, well above the freshly-released final figure of E£430.0bn ($24.4bn) for 2018-19 and the record of E£432.6bn the year before (see table).

Adjusting for economic growth and gains in the value of the Egyptian currency over the past year, Egypt’s finance ministry equates the 1Q 2019-20’s deficit to 2.1% of GDP versus 1.9% for Q1 in each of the previous two first quarters. Egypt is thus already on the back foot in its attempt to cut the deficit to 7.2% of GDP for 2019-20 as a whole (MEES, 28 June 2019) from 8.2% for 2018-19. (CONTINUED - 531 WORDS)