Egypt’s budget deficit “decreased slightly” in the first eight months of the 2013/2014 fiscal year (FY) to 6% of GDP, down from 8.4% of GDP during the same period in FY 2012/2013, according to the Ministry of Finance’s March bulletin.
Between July 2013 and February 2014, the gap between revenue and expenditure was EGP 123.6bn compared to EGP 146.5bn in the same period in FY 2012/2013.
The ministry attributed the decrease to foreign assistance packages and a rise in expected tax revenues during the period of study.
Contradicting figures announced by the government of former prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi, Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian announced in a press conference in March that the budget deficit is expected to register between 11% and 12% of GDP by the end of the current fiscal year, down from the previous expectation of 14% of GDP.
In the first half of FY 2013/2014, the finance ministry reported a budget deficit of EGP 89.4bn.
According to the report, government revenues reached EGP 254.2bn as a result of a hike in tax revenues on income, gains, assets and international trade. Grants from other countries, totaling EGP 51.3bn, also caused a surge in revenues.
Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates pledged a $12bn assistance package made up of loans, non-refundable grants and petroleum products.
During the same period, the government spent EGP 373.7bn. The government increased spending on wages and compensations by EGP 19.6bn, and spending on subsidies and social programmes by EGP 4bn.
The total revenue in FY 2013/2014 is expected to reach EGP 505.5bn, with EGP 358.7bn in tax revenues, EGP 146.8bn in non-tax revenues, and EGP 144.4bn in other revenues.
Total expenditure is expected to reach EGP 689.3bn, EGP 171.2bn of which will be allocated for wages and workers’ compensation, the ministry said in July.
Egypt’s domestic debt registered at EGP 1.54tn by the end of December 2013, up from 1.29tn in December 2012, according to the report. Meanwhile, external debt registered $45.8bn in December 2013, compared to $38.8 in the corresponding month in 2012.