Egypt current account deficit narrows to $232.7m

June 12, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

CAIRO: Egypt’s current account was in surplus between January and March, according to Reuters calculations, helping narrow the overall budget deficit three-quarters of the way through the financial year.

The current account deficit was $232.7m at the end of March, Egypt’s central bank said in a balance of payments statement yesterday, having narrowed from a deficit of $5.7bn a year earlier. Egypt’s fiscal year starts on July 1.

Reuters calculations showed a surplus of $523.1m in the January-March period, driven by a rise in remittances and other payments from abroad, including aid.

The central bank said such transfers had increased to $23.6bn over the first nine months of the financial year, from $14.4bn at the same point a year before, “supported mainly by the rise in net official transfers (commodity and cash)”.

Egypt has received billions of dollars worth of aid from Gulf Arab countries since Islamist Mohamed Mursi, the country’s first elected president, was ousted last July.

The trade deficit declined by 1.5 percent to $25.2bn from $25.6bn a year earlier, the central bank said, as a 4.2 percent rise in merchandise exports — to around $18.8 billion - outpaced the 0.8 percent rise in merchandise imports.

Foreign direct investment in Egypt rose to $4.7bn in the first nine months compared with $3.6bn in the same period a year earlier, the central bank said.