File - Minister of Finance Amr el-Garhy
CAIRO – 22 November 2017: The budget’s overall deficit dropped to 1.9 percent of GDP in the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year 2017/2018, compared to 2.5 percent in the same quarter last year, Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy said Wednesday.
He added that the primary deficit also decreased to 1.5 percent in the first quarter, compared to 1.7 percent last year. Garhy said that the target for the overall deficit is to hover between 9.3-9.5 percent of GDP.
The minister explained that state revenues increased by 33 percent, while expenses increased by 23 percent, as a result of a rise in public expenses in some areas such as investments, which increased by 66 percent.
He added that wages increased by eight percent during the first quarter of 2017/2018, while spending on the social safety programs Takaful and Karama increased by 92 percent, which comes as part of other social protection measures put by the government at a cost of LE 85 billion.
Subsidizing commodities also increased by 92 percent during the first quarter, Garhy said, adding that these figures are being periodically reviewed and that the government is working on keeping the percentage of debt in relation to the GDP within international rates.