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Spreading the Misery Around a Little Bit

July 24th, 2013 - 6:41 am

Ahmed Kamel on Egypt’s economic troubles:

Subsidized bread is expected to be about LE21 billion of the country’s budget in the fiscal year 2012/2013, according to the Finance Ministry. Subsidized bread sells for LE0.05 per loaf, while it costs the state LE0.33, according to official reports.

The Egyptian pound falls between the hammer of shrinking foreign reserves and the anvil of rising imports. Foreign reserves at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) stood at $14.9 billion at the end of June. The reserves hit $36 billion in December 2010. Inflows of direct foreign investment (FDI) have taken a dive by more than 90 percent.

Before the January 25 revolution, unemployment stood at 9 percent of the labor force in 2010, according to CAPMAS. The rate rose to more than 13 percent this year. However, unofficial reports estimate unemployment before the revolution at around 20 percent, and around 800,000 people enter the labor market annually, according to CAPMAS.

The economic performance was weak over the past year: growth was less than 2 percent.

That’s gotta hurt. A revolution, a coup, and two years of turmoil have reduced Egypt’s growth rate to Obamanomics levels.

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