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Economy of Egypt

Overview A series of International Monetary Fund arrangements, coupled with massive external debt relief resulting from Egypt's participation in the Gulf War coalition, helped Egypt improve its macroeconomic performance during the 1990s. Through sound fiscal and monetary policies, Cairo tamed inflation, slashed budget deficits, and built up foreign reserves. Although the pace of structural reforms, such as privatization and new business legislation, has been slower than the IMF envisioned, Egypt's steps toward a more market-oriented economy have prompted increased foreign investment. Lower combined hard currency inflows - from tourism, worker remittances, oil revenues, and Suez Canal tolls - in 1998 and the first half of 1999 resulted in pressure on the Egyptian pound and sporadic dollar shortages, but external payments were not in crisis. Despite ample reserves, the Central Bank did not provide sufficient hard currency to commercial banks and Cairo restricted imports for a short period; these developments confirmed to some investors and currency traders that government financial operations lack sufficient coordination and openness. Monetary pressures have since eased, however, with the continued oil price recovery starting in mid-1999 and a moderate rebound in tourism. Increased gas exports are a major plus factor in future growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $200 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,000 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17%
industry: 32%
services: 51% (1999)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 26.7% (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (1999)

Labor force: 19 million (1999 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 40%, services 38%, industry 22% (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate: 11.8% (1999 est.)

revenues: $20.7 billion
expenditures: $22.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY98/99)

Industries: textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, petroleum, construction, cement, metals

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 57.8 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 78.72%
hydro: 21.28%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 53.754 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats; fish

Exports: $4.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals

Exports - partners: EU 47%, US 14%, Turkey 8% (1998)

Imports: $15.8 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels

Imports - partners: EU 42%, US 16%, Japan 5% (1998)

Debt - external: $30 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $2.25 billion (1999)

Currency: 1 Egyptian pound = 100 piasters

Exchange rates: Egyptian pounds per US$1 - market rate - 3.4050 (January 2000), 3.4050 (1999), 3.3880 (1998), 3.3880 (1997), 3.3880 (1996), 3.3900 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

See also : Egypt

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