The International Monterrey Fund (IMF) delegation meetings with Egypt’s official are underway in full swing, as the US-based fund is currently conducting a second periodic review of the economic reform programme ahead of unlocking the third tranche of the $12bn.
“The delegation is set to finish reviewing the budget for the current fiscal year by November 8, or the next Thursday,” a senior government’s official told Daily News Egypt.
The IMF meetings with Egyptian officials was set to last for two weeks, according to a prior statement by the Ministry of Finance.
“Now, they have access to the country fiscal indicators. They told us that everything is going well, albeit they now are negotiating with top official about accelerating the reform pace as scheduled to meet the fund demands,” the source who spoke to Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
Vice Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies Ahmed Kouchouk said in a prior presser that funds from the IMF loan will be used to finance the state’s budget deficit while the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will benefit from cash in foreign currency to support the foreign exchange balance reserves.
The IMF mission visit included a meeting with CBE governor Tarek Amer and Finance Minister Amr El-Garhi, according to Kouchouk.
In September, the IMF praised Egypt’s efforts in implementing its economic reform programme despite seeking waivers for missing some targets in June and a deeper-than-expected currency depreciation, but inflation remains the main risk for stability.
The economic growth rate increased during the last quarter of 2016/17 to 4.8%, while the unemployment rate decreased to 11.9% in 2017, compared to 12.7% in June 2016, according to official data.
The country’s initial budget deficit decreased by 50% during 2016/17, falling by 1.8% of GDP compared to 3.6% in 2015/16.
In July, the CBE received the final instalment of the first $4b tranche of the IMF loan.