FILE - Minister of Planning Hala El-Said
CAIRO – 23 November 2017: The total investment rate in the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year 2017/2018 recorded 13.3 percent to reach LE 155 billion, compared to LE 101 billion in Q1 of the previous year, Minister of Planning Hala el-Saieed announced Thursday.
In a ministry statement highlighting the economic indicators of Q1, Saieed said that all indicators are recording hikes, “which is a positive result of the economic reform measures,” she said.
The volume of public investment soared 138 percent in Q1 to reach LE 71.9 billion, compared to LE 30.2 billion in Q1 of FY 2016/17, representing 48 percent of the total investments completed in that quarter.
Private sector investments went up 15 percent to register LE 78.1 billion, compared to LE 67.81 billion in the same quarter in the previous fiscal year.
“National projects occupied 25 percent of the investment projects, followed by the construction sector at 17 percent, transport sector at 10 percent and the manufacturing sector at 7.7 percent,” the minister said.
With regards to foreign reserves, the minister said that it soared $17.7 billion on a year-on-year level as it recorded $36.7 billion in October compared to $19 billion at the end of October 2016.
Saeeid also pointed out that the annual inflation slumped 31.8 percent in October, down from 34.2 percent in July, “due to increasing the price of fuel and petroleum products,” she said, adding that October was the lowest monthly inflation rate since the start of the economic reform program.
The eEmployment rate declined to 11.9 percent in Q1, compared to 12.6 percent in Q1 in the previous fiscal year, Saeeid noted, highlighting that this is the best quarterly performance since FY 2009/10.
“The number of workers went up to 779,000 at in a quarter-on-quarter level,” she said.
The industrial sector was the biggest contributor in creating new job opportunities at 91 percent of the target, followed by the agriculture sector at 51 percent, the transport and storage sector at 11 percent the wholesale and retail sector at 9 percent then the wholesale and retail sector at 9 percent the transport and storage sector at 11 percent.
Egypt’s economic growth rate registered 5.2 percent during Q1, while the growth rate reached 70 percent at a string of sectors such as agriculture, real-estate, construction and manufacturing.
On the same topic, Minister of Finance Amr aEl-Garhy said the budget’s overall deficit dropped to 1.9 percent of GDP in Q1, compared to 2.5 percent in the same quarter last year.
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.
Garhy added that wages increased by eight 8 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.