IMF: Egypt’s economy is recovering

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressed that the Egyptian economy has begun to recover following four years of economic stagnation due to political upheavals.

 In a report issued at the end of the IMF delegation’s visit to Egypt, IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department head Christopher Jarvis said all members of the delegation came out with the conclusion that there was a consensus in Egypt on the importance of carrying out economic reforms.

Jarvis, who held talks with Egyptian government and central bank officials, said, “Egypt is still facing many challenges, including growing unemployment and poverty rates, budget deficit and declining growth rates.”

“But the most important is that the Egyptian government is well aware of these challenges and that it is taking steps to address them,” he added.

The government seeks to lower the budget deficit, estimated now at 12.8 percent, to 8-8.5 percent of the total GDP and increase spending on education, health, infrastructure and scientific research.

“The structural reforms the government seeks to carry out will centre on improving the investment climate and developing the financial sector,” he added.

The IMF said the new policies adopted by the government have begun to bear fruits.

The report expected that the growth rate would reach 3.8 percent in 2014/15.

The IMF delegation members lauded the performance of the banking sector, saying it succeeded in addressing the economic slowdown that has hit the country since the 25 January 2011 revolution.