Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 5.5 percent in the fiscal year that ends in June, according to economists polled by Reuters, a forecast slightly higher than the one offered by a survey three months ago but lower than the government’s target.
Egypt’s non-oil private-sector activity contracted for the seventh consecutive month in March, according to the Emirates NBD Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Private-sector activity has expanded in only five months over the last three years.
“Medium-term economic growth is underpinned by improving fiscal finances, reforms to strengthen the business environment and rising investment in key sectors,” said Nadene Johnson, an economist at NKC African Economics. “But structural constraints are keeping the growth forecast slightly subdued.”
Aiming to shore up investor confidence, Egypt has been implementing economic reforms as part of a three-year, $12 billion agreement with the International Monetary Fund in November 2016. The reforms included a value-added tax, cuts to energy subsidies and a steep currency devaluation.
The median forecast from 20 economists polled April 8-22, before the referendum result, put growth at 5.5 percent in the current 2018/2019 fiscal year, lower than the government’s target. Three months ago, the median of 14 economists predicted 5.3 percent GDP growth.
Medians projected 5.6 percent GDP growth in the fiscal year ending in June 2020 and 5.7 percent in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.Economic growth will be “Fueled mostly by government spending on national projects and infrastructure,” said Yara Elkahky, an economist at Naeem Brokerage. “Household consumption growth, however, is expected to remain muted as purchasing power still remains tight.”