BEIRUT

Regional

Egypt GDP grows 1.2 percent in first half 2013/14 fiscal year

CAIRO: Egypt’s economy grew by 1.2 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2013/14, the planning minister said Monday.

Ashraf al-Arabi said Egypt had spent 25 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.59 billion) of 64 billion pounds pledged in stimulus packages, with much of that money coming in aid from the United Arab Emirates.

“We aim to achieve a growth rate in the third quarter of more than 2 percent,” Arabi added. Egypt’s GDP in the last fiscal year, which ended on June 30, was up 2.1 percent.

Egypt’s finance minister last week revised down the growth target for the current fiscal year to between 2 and 2.5 percent from 3 to 3.5.

Economists polled by Reuters in January saw 2 percent growth for the year ending June 2014.

Three years of political unrest since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak have scared off many investors and tourists, weighing on economic growth, and the army toppled Islamist President Mohammad Morsi in July, triggering unrest, with security forces killing hundreds of protesters.

Analysts see the army-backed authorities as anxious to get the economy moving to shore up public support and curb the scope for more unrest as the government moves along a political transition plan leading to elections this year.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 18, 2014, on page 5.

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