Egypt's budget deficit narrows to $12.8bn

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(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's budget deficit was 89.4 billion Egyptian pounds ($12.84 billion) or 4.4 percent of economic output in the first half of this fiscal year, less than in same period a year before, the state news agency reported.

Citing a Finance Ministry report, MENA news agency said on Sunday the budget deficit had narrowed from 91.472 billion in the first half of the last fiscal year, which ended in June. That was the equivalent of 5.1 percent of gross domestic product.

Egypt aims to bring the deficit down to 10 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year from around 14 percent for full-year 2012-13.

Investment outflows and a drop in tourism during political turmoil since autocrat President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in an uprising in 2011 have damaged Egypt's economy and pushed its budget deficit up sharply.

Bolstered by a pledge of more than $12 billion in aid from Gulf countries, the government introduced a 30 billion Egyptian pound stimulus package in 2013 and said it would follow up with a second package, also of around 30 billion pounds.

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