Egypt Current Account Deficit Widens as Tourism, FDI Fall

Egypt’s nine-month current account deficit widened to $6.4 billion from $4.7 billion in the same period last year as foreign direct investment and tourism receipts declined because of unrest, the central bank said.

Foreign direct investment fell to $218 million in the period that ended in March compared with $2.1 billion a year earlier, the regulator said in an e-mailed statement. Tourism revenue, one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency, slumped 18 percent to $7.1 billion. Egypt’s fiscal year ends June 30.

The economic crash following the end of Hosni Mubarak’s three decades of rule last year has drained foreign reserves by almost half and slashed investment. Portfolio-investment outflows widened to $4.6 billion from $969 million a year earlier, the central bank said.

Still, remittances from Egyptians working abroad surged by 44 percent in the period to $12.8 billion. That helped limit the increase in the overall balance of payments deficit to $11.2 billion compared with $5.5 billion a year earlier, according to the central bank.

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