Press Photo - Amer discusses with Sisi the advanced results achieved in the Egyptian economy’s performance during the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year 2017/18.
CAIRO – 17 December 2017: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met on Sunday with Governor of Egypt’s Central Bank Tarek Amer, according to an official statement issued by the presidency spokesperson.
The president reviewed with Amer the current economic situation and the developments in the currency exchange rate.
On his part, Amer discussed with President Sisi the advanced results achieved in the Egyptian economy’s performance during the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year 2017/18.
The Central Bank of Egypt issued a statement earlier in December, noting that Egypt’s balance of payments recorded a surplus of $5.1 billion during the first quarter of 2017/18. This is an improvement from a surplus of $1.9 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
This came on the back of a significant improvement in Egypt’s current account deficit, which narrowed 65.7 percent to $1.6 billion in Q1 of FY 2017/18 from a deficit of $4.8 billion during the same period a year earlier.
Egypt’s trade deficit declined 5.0 percent to $8.9 billion for the quarter, down from $9.4 billion in Q1 of 2016/17. This largely came on the back of an 11 percent increase in merchandise exports to $5.8 billion from $5.3 billion in the same period last year. Egypt’s oil exports grew 16.8 percent to $1.8 billion in Q1 of 2017/18 from $1.5 billion a year earlier.
The annual core inflation rate dropped to 25.54 percent in November, down from 30.53 percent in October. On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 1.3 percent in November, up from 0.7 percent a month earlier.
Amer said these positive indicators reflect that Egypt is on the right track.
The statement added that Amer affirmed an increase in the foreign reserves.However, Egypt is at the same time is committed to repay its foreign debts, he said.
At the end of November foreign reserves amounted to $36.723 billion, compared with $36.703 at end of October.
The CBEgovernor pointed out that removing limits put on dollar deposits and withdrawals used for non-essential commodities came on the back of the stability and trust in the exchange rate of foreign currencies in Egypt.
The CBE has removed caps for the deposit and withdrawal of foreign currency for importers of non-essential goods, a sign ofimproving dollar liquidity at banks.
In 2012, the CBE implemented a deposit limit of $10,000 per day and $50,000 per month as well as a $30,000 per day withdrawal limit for importers of non-essential goods. The control was one of several imposed since 2011 to reduce pressure on dollar demand.
Amer said that the executive council of International Monetary (IMF) Fund will meet soon to discuss the $2 billion third tranche of the $12 billion loanallocated to Egypt by IMF.
Amer added that CBE specifically support SMEs in Egypt through an initiative to allocate 20 percent of the bank’sportfolio for SMEs.