Egypt targets 4.5pc growth next year
Cairo, January 20, 2014
Egypt is targeting growth of between 4 and 4.5 percent next fiscal year, its planning minister said, as the army-backed government pushes on with plans to stimulate the economy.
"The investment plan for the 2014/2015 financial year is still under study and it aims to achieve a growth rate that ranges between 4-4.5 percent," Ashraf Al-Arabi said in remarks carried by state news agency Mena.
The country of 85 million people, which has been battered by three years of political turmoil, grew a meagre 2.1 percent in the year to end June 30.
Al-Arabi, responding to a text message from Reuters, said growth projection for the current 2013/2014 fiscal year was unchanged at 3 to 3.5 percent. Some government ministers have previously said it was 3.5 percent.
Supported by more than $12 billion in Gulf aid, Egypt introduced a 30 billion Egyptian pound ($4.31 billion) stimulus package in 2013 and plans to launch another package of about the same size later this month.
The country is moving towards democratic rule in accordance with the roadmap announced by its army, which ousted Islamist President Mursi in July following mass protests against his rule. Presidential and parliamentary elections are due to take place this year.
"(The forecast) is building on a relatively more optimistic scenario," Mohamed Abu Basha, an economist at EFG Hermes, said about next year's growth forecast.
"In the next fiscal year, at least in the second half, you will be done with the elections and will have the roadmap behind your back so that may result in a pick up in the economy," he said. -Reuters