Egypt announces primary budget surplus for 1st time in 15 years
CAIRO, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Egypt announced on Thursday it had a primary budget surplus for the first time in 15 years, Finance Minister Mohamed Mait said, according to official Ahram Online news website.
The state budget achieved a 0.2 percent primary budget surplus, worth 4 billion Egyptian pounds (nearly 223 million U.S. dollars) in its 2017-2018 fiscal year.
It surpassed the target of 3 billion Egyptian pound (nearly 167 million dollars), the minister said at a press conference following his inspection tour of Egypt's Large Taxpayers Center (LTC).
Egypt's fiscal year runs from beginning of July to end of June of the following year.
The country expected its 2017-2018 budget deficit to stand at 9.8 percent, slightly above the 9.1 percent it said last year it was expecting.
Mait told reporters that revenues expected from the 2018-2019 fisical year budget were around 989 billion Egyptian pounds (55 billion dollars), 817 billion of which would be spent on debts and interest.
The country's foreign reserves rose by the end of June to 44.258 billion dollars from 44.139 billion dollars, the central bank also announced on Thursday.
After experience an ailing economy over several years due to turmoil and lax security, Egypt's government float the Egyptian pound by half in 2016, and adopted reform economic measures like fuel and electricity subsidy cuts this year.
The latest measures, despite exhausting poor people, were praised by economists and secured a 12-billion-dollar International Monetary Fund loan, half of which was already received by Egypt.