Egypt’s current account deficit narrows in Q4 of 2019

Egypt’s current account deficit for the last quarter of 2019 narrowed to $3.19 billion from $3.25 billion in the same quarter of 2018, according to central bank data released on Monday.

Remittances from Egyptians working abroad increased to $6.97 billion from $6.14 billion, while tourism revenue climbed to $3.06 billion from $2.86 billion.

Reuters calculated the figures by subtracting third-quarter figures released earlier by the central bank from those for the last half of the calendar year.

 Tourism had gradually been recovering from political turmoil after the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, enjoying record-high revenue in 2019. The recent figures, however, date to before the global coronavirus outbreak that has since brought tourism in Egypt to a virtual halt.

Suez Canal revenue rose to $1.52 billion during the fourth quarter of 2019 from $1.49 billion a year earlier.

The trade deficit rose to $9.92 billion from $9.44 billion.

Foreign direct investment edged down to $2.61 billion from $2.77 billion, while net portfolio investment surged to $2.26 billion from a negative $2.65 billion in the last quarter of 2018.

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