Egypt Independent

Budget deficit climbs to LE146.5 bln

The national budget deficit jumped to LE146.5 billion from July 2012 to February 2013, a rise that is equivalent to 8.2 percent of the country’s GDP.

The same period last year saw a the deficit widen to LE94.7 billion, due to an increase in government expenditures that surpassed revenues, said a Finance Ministry report issued Thursday.

State revenues increased by 3.9 percent during this period, climbing to LE184.9 billion, as compared to LE178 billion during the same period last year. The increase is attributed to a 16 percent rise in tax revenues, the report said.

Foreign debts increased by 15.2 percent, reaching a record US$38.8 billion by the end of December 2012, the highest increase since March 2008. In December 2011, foreign debt was at US$33.7 billion, after Qatar deposed US$4 billion in the Central Bank in the second quarter of this fiscal year as part of a financial aid package.

The country seeks to bridge the budget deficit and pull its struggling economy out of the slump it has been mired in since the January 2011 revolution by borrowing from international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Cabinet also hopes to increase the number of grants and deposits from Arab and foreign countries.

Edited translation from MENA