CAIRO - The Egyptian economy expanded an annual 5.6 per cent in the third quarter, boosted by tourism, manufacturing and domestic consumption, cabinet spokesman Magdy Rady said Wednesday.
Growth accelerated from a revised rate of 5.4 per cent in the previous three months. The government had initially said the economy expanded an annual 5.9 per cent in the period between April and June.
“This is slightly better than our forecast,” said Alia Mamdouh, an economist at Cairo-based investment bank CI Capital. She had forecast 5.4 per cent growth for the first quarter.
The government expects the economy to expand at least 6 percent in the current fiscal year ending June 2011, compared with a revised rate of 5.1 per cent in the previous year.
The economy of the most populous Arab country relies on manufacturing, tourism and foreign direct investment for growth.
These factors helped gross domestic product expand at an average rate of 7 per cent in the three fiscal years through June 2008.
Growth slowed to 4.7 per cent in the following fiscal year due to the global financial crisis, prompting the government to boost public spending to offset the decline in private investments.
“We are not happy that public investments are more than private investments,” Rady told reporters in Cairo.
Egypt’s benchmark EGX30 stock index has gained 11 per cent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.