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Egypt Economy

    Economy—overview: At the end of the 1980s, Egypt faced problems of low productivity and poor economic management, compounded by the adverse social effects of excessive population growth, high inflation, and massive urban overcrowding. In the face of these pressures, in 1991 Egypt undertook wide-ranging macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform measures. This reform effort has been supported by three IMF arrangements, the last of which expired in September 1998. Egypt's reform efforts—and its participation in the Gulf war coalition—also led to massive debt relief under the Paris Club arrangements. Substantial progress has been made in improving macroeconomic performance. Cairo tamed inflation, slashed budget deficits, and built up foreign reserves to an all-time high. Although the pace of structural reforms—such as privatization and new business legislation—has been slower than envisioned under the IMF program, Egypt's steps toward a more market-oriented economy have prompted increased foreign investment. The November 1997 massacre of foreign tourists in Luxor affected tourism enough to slow the GDP growth rate for 1998 compared to earlier projections. Tourism's slow recovery, coupled with low world oil prices, caused a downturn in foreign exchange earnings in 1998, but external payments are not in crisis.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$188 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,850 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 16%
    industry: 31%
    services: 53% (1997)

    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): 3.6% (1998)

    Labor force: 17.4 million (1998 est.)

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

    Unemployment rate: 10% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $20 billion
    expenditures: $20.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $4.4 billion (FY97/98)

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

    Industrial production growth rate: 9.4% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 46 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 76.09%
    hydro: 23.91%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 46 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

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

    Exports: $5.5 billion (f.o.b., FY97/98 est.)

    Exports—commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton yarn, raw cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals

    Exports—partners: EU, US, Japan

    Imports: $16.7 billion (c.i.f., FY97/98 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, foods, fertilizers, wood products, durable consumer goods, capital goods

    Imports—partners: US, EU, Japan

    Debt—external: $28 billion (FY97/98 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: ODA, $2.4 billion (1996)

    Currency: 1 Egyptian pound (�E) = 100 piasters

    Exchange rates: Egyptian pounds (�E) per US$1—3.4 (November 1994); market rate—3.3880 (January 1999), 3.3880 (1998), 3.3880 (1997), 3.3880 (1996), 3.3900 (1995), 3.3910 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)