Egypt H1 of FY20 budget deficit 3.8% of GDP – minister

Egypt’s budget deficit in the first half of the financial year was 3.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 3.6 percent a year earlier, finance minister Mohamed Maait said on Monday.

Much of the widening of the deficit came from spending on interest payments worth 33 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.1 billion) on insurance funds and social insurance dues during the first quarter, Maait explained.

The government also made early interest payment of 16 billion pounds in September for zero-coupon bonds whose interests were supposed to be paid by next April, he added.

Egypt also posted a primary surplus of 0.2 percent of GDP during the July to December period, the second highest figure recorded across the emerging markets, Maaid said in a statement.