Egypt on track to restore economic stability, IMF says

29 Sep 17

The Egyptian government’s attempt to restore economic stability and higher long-term growth is off to a “good start”, the International Monetary Fund has said.

Egypt last year launched a reform programme, and gained IMF financial support, to tackle economic imbalances that had led to rising public debt, a widening current account deficit and declining official reserves.

“The Egyptian authorities have embarked on an ambitious reform program and have taken decisive measures aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and sustainable public finances,” Subir Lall, head of the IMF team dealing with Egypt, said this week.

“We have seen that economic activity has been gathering strength and efforts at reining in the budget deficit have begun to bear fruit. With the liberalisation of the foreign exchange market, foreign currency shortages have disappeared,” he added.

The IMF approved financial assistance to Egypt in November 2016, to restore stability of its finances, and promote growth and employment while protecting the poor.

The economic reform programme gained the approval of the IMF executive board and has led to a disbursement of $1.25bn of the $12bn support under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

Since the start of the reforms the government has achieved a flexible exchange rate regime, reduced the budget deficit, reduced energy subsidies, increased employment participation for women and youth, and approved several measures to improve the business market to create more jobs and help reduce unemployment.

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