Egypt’s budget deficit shrank by 6.3 percent in the first half of the 2013/14 fiscal year, as compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to the finance ministry's latest bulletin.
The deficit reached LE89.4 billion ($12.9) between July and December 2013, down from the LE91.4 billion ($13.3) recorded in the first half of the previous fiscal year.
This brings the budget deficit down to just 4.4 percent of Gross National Product, compared to the 5.2 percent in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Finance ministry spokesman Mosbah Qotb told Ahram Online that the decrease is attributed to a decree issued last October by interim President Adly Mansour which added an extra LE60.7 billion to the budget in order to finance a LE30 billion economic stimulus package.
The LE60.7 billion is the equivalent of the $8.78 billion that was deposited in Egypt's Central Bank (CBE) by Arab countries under the rule of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Qotb added that recent Gulf aid in the form of bank deposits and petroleum products have also contributed to the budget deficit's drop.
The total budget deficit for the fiscal year 2013/14 is expected to reach some LE186 billion ($27 billion), the equivalent of 9 percent of the GDP, compared to 14 percent -- LE240 billion ($34.8 billion) -- in the fiscal year 2012/13.
Total revenues for the aforementioned period recorded LE175.4 billion ($25.5), a rise of 14.6 percent compared to the first six months of the previous fiscal year.
Tax revenues reached LE104 billion ($15.1), less than the LE111 billion ($16.1) collected between July and December 2012.
Expenditures reached LE262 billion ($37.7) in the first six months of FY2013/14, up from LE243.5 billion ($35.3) in the same period of the previous fiscal year.