Egypt's budget deficit widened to 92 billion Egyptian pounds in the first half of the current fiscal year, compared with 73.3bn pounds a year earlier, the country's planning and international cooperation minister Ashraf El Arabi said today.
Government revenue was 153bn pounds, while spending totalled 244 billion pounds, Mr El Arabi said.
The widening deficit underscored the challenges confronting President Mohammed Morsi's government as it struggles to appease a population impatient with the lack of gains after the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, and an opposition that sees the Islamist as having done little more than try to cement the Muslim Brotherhood's hold on power in the Arab world's most populace nation.
The government is still in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a US$4.8bn loan seen as key to securing additional donor funds and aid.
Mr El Arabi said the government is targeting economic growth of no less than 3 per cent in the current fiscal year.
* Bloomberg News