Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies Ahmed Kouchouk said that Egypt’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 40.7 in May, from a record low of 29.7 in April, as companies gradually reopen.
Kouchouk’s comments during the “What’s Next? Egypt’s Finances Post COVID-19” webinar held by the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) on Thursday.
He noted that this is a positive indication of a return to normality and the state’s readiness to revive the economy after the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Kouchouk pointed out that job loss rates have reached their highest levels since January 2017, with private companies, except for petroleum sector companies, continuing to reduce their operating capacities.
Kouchouk said, “The Ministry of Finance recorded a major surplus during April 2019 to July 2020 estimated at about EGP 50.2bn, which is about 0.8% of the GDP, and a higher surplus from the same period in previous year, where it recorded EGP 55bn, or 1% of the total income, while Inflation remains at a low rate of only one digit.”
Kouchouk added that EGP 8.34m, equivalent to 0.15% of the GDP, have been allocated to adjust salaries of public health staff as they combat the coronavirus. This financial allocation comes in addition to providing health institutions with medical and preventive supplies.
He disclosed that an exceptional one-time allowance for health staff, estimated at EGP 200m, was disbursed. At the same time, an injury bonus for all workers in the public health sector was increased by 75% to EGP 2.57bn, equivalent to 0.04% of GDP.