Statistics agency head says economy shrinking, but salvageable

The head of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Abu Bakr al-Gendy, said that while the economic situation is worsening, Egypt still has the potential to make economic gains.

Gendy told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday that there has been pessimism regarding the economy's ability to recover after the revolution, but he believes it will take off, although he cannot predict the exact timing of this boom because of the complicated political landscape.

CAPMAS will devise a new index for measuring inflation that affects low-income communities in Egypt who rely on staple goods to survive, Gendy said, adding that the wealthy have a different pattern of consumption so they will not be affected. He said that CAPMAS would ensure that the data would not be politicized and growth indicators would not be manipulated to prove government success.

Gendy said that he is waiting for the appointment of a new planning minister who will work with CAPMAS. Neither President Mohamed Morsy nor Prime Minister Hesham Qandil have yet asked the agency for any data or statistics, he added.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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