Public Debt in Egypt
Egypt - Public Debt
Draft budget continues slow process of mending public finances, while boosting investment and maintaining social safety net
The draft FY 2019 budget approved by cabinet on 18 March aims to further reduce the budget deficit in order to trim the hefty public debt burden. At the same time, public investment will rise notably, while government spending on basic goods and services will increase to help citizens worst affected by high inflation. The budget will now be reviewed by parliament, a process which could take several months.
The budget sets a fiscal deficit target of 8.4% of GDP for FY 2019. This comes after the government recently revised down its FY 2018 deficit target to between 9.5% and 9.7%—the second such downgrade since January—likely driven in part by higher oil prices and elevated debt servicing costs. The budget sees revenues rising 22.0% year-on-year, outpacing a 15.5% increase in expenditure. Revenue generation will be underpinned by a strengthening economy—the budget banks on 5.8% GDP growth. Public investment is set to rise to EGP 149 billion, up from the EGP 125 billion planned for FY 2018, with a particular focus on Upper Egypt. However, investment spending still makes up a small share of the overall budget and is dwarfed by outlays for social protection and wages, budgeted at EGP 332 billion and EGP 266 billion respectively. The government will also boost spending on basic goods and services to EGP 60 billion, in a bid to make basic staples more affordable and avoid social unrest.
Our panelists currently judge that the government is on course to meet the deficit target for FY 2019. Playing in the government’s favor is that the budget assumes an average oil price of USD 67 per barrel, higher than the FocusEconomics panel of commodities analysts’ forecasts. The fuel subsidy bill could thus be less expensive than the government is currently predicting. In addition, further fuel subsidy cuts are in the pipeline for later this year, while the public coffers could receive a windfall from asset sales, as the government looks to reduce its stakes in several companies. However, downside risks are apparent. The FY 2019 growth forecast appears slightly optimistic compared to our panelists’ projections, while there remains a risk that spending on social programs and wages could grow faster than expected if social pressure mounts.
Egypt Fiscal Balance Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the fiscal deficit to reach 9.5% in FY 2018, down 0.5 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 8.1% in FY 2019.
Egypt - Public Debt Data
|Public Debt (% of GDP)||89.3||93.1||103||108||97.3|
5 years of economic forecasts for more than 30 economic indicators.
|Bond Yield||13.70||0.0 %||Dec 31|
|Exchange Rate||16.04||0.0 %||Jan 01|
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February 20, 2020
At its monetary policy meeting on 20 February, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) left all interest rates unchanged for the second consecutive meeting.
February 15, 2020
Consumer prices increased 0.7% in January from the previous month due to higher food and beverage prices, contrasting the 0.2% month-on-month decrease in December, according to a monthly inflation note released on 15 February.
February 5, 2020
Egypt’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures business activity in the non-oil private sector, dropped to 46.0 in January from 48.2 in December, indicating a worse deterioration in business conditions in the sector over the previous month and the lowest reading in over two and a half years. Contributing to the downturn in January was the fastest contraction in output among Egyptian businesses in three years, which was largely due to a sharp fall in new orders, partly due to softer export demand for the fourth consecutive month.
January 16, 2020
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) held interest rates steady at its monetary policy meeting on 16 January, leaving the overnight deposit rate at 12.25%.
January 9, 2020
Consumer prices decreased 0.2% in December in month-on-month terms, after decreasing 0.3% in November.