CAIRO: Egypt’s economy should grow at an annual rate of 2 percent in the second fiscal quarter, the state’s planning minister said Tuesday, after expanding less than 1 percent in the first quarter because of violent protests.
The government targets 3.5 growth in the current fiscal year, which ends June 2014. But the country has been rocked by violence ever since this past July, when the army ousted the elected Islamist President Mohammad Morsi.
Economists polled by Reuters predicted growth of just 2.6 percent for this year. The economy grew 2.1 percent in the previous fiscal year, which ended before the latest wave of violence.
“The results of the first quarter of fiscal year 2013-14 for the period from July to September were modest and will not exceed 1 percent,” the minister, Ashraf al-Arabi, told state news agency MENA. He said 2 percent growth was expected in the second quarter, from October to December, according to MENA.
Egypt’s economy saw several years of 7 percent growth before the popular uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Since then, tourism and foreign investment have collapsed and domestic labor disputes have increased.