The Egyptian public debt has increased significantly by EGP 540.2bn at the end of June 2017, surpassing its previous largest hike of EGP 504.4bn in 2015/2016.
According to the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) September report, the domestic public debt increased to EGP 3.16tn at the end of June, compared to EGP 3.07tn in March 2017, and EGP 2.62tn at the end of June 2016.
The increase in public debt comes in contrary to the optimistic official statements about the state economic reform programme, which included several harsh measures imposed by the government and the CBE in the past years, especially after the flotation of the local currency.
The June increase is the largest in the recent few years, which raises questions about the feasibility of the government’s decisions to lift fuel subsidies and impose new taxes, which provided billions of pounds for the state treasury.
However, the domestic public debt ratio fell to 91.1% of GDP in June 2017, compared to 96.7% in June 2016, due to the increase of gross domestic product.
Egypt’s GDP amounted to about EGP 3.4tn in fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017, compared to EGP 2.7tn in FY 2015/2016, while the government targets a EGP 4.1tn of GDP in the current FY (2017/2018).
The increase in domestic debt in the fourth quarter (Q4) of FY 2016/2017 reached EGP 87.2bn, where it recorded EGP 3.073tn at the end of March 2017.
It means that the domestic debt returned to increase rapidly after it slowed relatively in Q3, recording only EGP 21.1bn.
The public debt is divided into four sections: the government debt (EGP 2.685tn), the debts of public economic entities (EGP 222.3bn), the National Investment Bank (EGP 336.9bn), and inter-organisational debt between the government, economic institutions, and the National Investment Bank (EGP 84.3bn).