Egypt’s failure to boost economic growth over the past two decades is fueling the social unrest aimed at forcing the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows Egypt as the worst performer among 13 Middle Eastern, North African and Gulf countries in terms of per capita gross domestic product growth. While Egypt’s growth per person stagnated between 1989 and 2008, Turkey’s has risen 273 percent, and Lebanon is up 689 percent.
“The growing economy is not trickling down to the lower mass of Egyptians, in addition to high unemployment, high inflation, and the global financial crisis,” Mona Mansour, director at CI Capital research, said by phone from Cairo. “GDP per capita is definitely an indicator of unrest because it indicates the masses of the population are not getting more income to cope with inflationary pressures.”
Egypt’s average GDP per capita was little changed at $2,160 in 2009, compared with $2,155 in 1989, according to International Monetary Fund data.
Egypt’s largest opposition group rejected talks with Mubarak yesterday after at least six protesters were killed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in the past two days.