Egypt narrows budget deficit in 8 months due to aid from Gulf countries

Egypt’s overall budget deficit narrowed to LE123.6 billion (US$17.79 billion) in 8 months from 2013 to 2014 from LE146.5 billion, due to higher non-tax revenues, particularly grants aid from Gulf countries, according to data from the Finance Ministry.
Measured by percentage of economic output, the deficit is now at 6 percent, as opposed to 8.4 percent a year earlier.
The Finance Ministry report also indiciated on Thursday the total revenue grew 37.5 percent YoY to LE254.2 billion, including LE51.4 billion in grants, while total expenditure rose 13.2 percent YoY to LE373.3 billion.
Bolstered by a pledge of more than $12 billion in aid from Gulf countries, the government introduced a LE30 billion stimulus package in 2013 and said it would follow up with a second package, also of around LE30 billion.
Total government debt (domestic and external) had reached LE1,751 billion (85 percent of GDP) in December 2013, compared to LE1,644 billion (94 percent of GDP) at end of June 2013.
External debt was recorded at $45.8 billion by the end of December 2013 compared to $38.8 billion by the end of December 2012, most of the increase represented aid from the Gulf Countries with concessional and preferential terms). External debt as percent of GDP recorded 15.4 percent by the end of December 2013, which is relatively low if compared to the average of peer countries (Middle East and North Africa countries recorded an average of 25.5 percent of GDP during the year 2013).
External debt service to exports of goods and services ratio has been unchanged since 2008-2009 till 2012-2013 stabilizing at 6.4 percent. This indicates a safe level to meet debt service obligations.
Short term debt to total external debt ratio decreased from 17.15 percent at end of December 2012 to 6.16 percent at end of December 2013.

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