Egypt's economic growth surges 7.1%

North African country sees fastest annual rate in five years due to exports and foreign direct investment.
Egypt's economic growth surges 7.1%
By Reuters
Thu 30 Aug 2007 04:24 PM

Egypt's economy grew 7.1% in the year to end June, its fastest annual rate in five years, Economic Development Minister Osman Mohamed Osman was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The government had said in June it expected the economy to grow 7%, up from 6.9% in the previous financial year.

Government officials have attributed Egypt's recent gains to a surge in exports and foreign direct investment. Growth in the last quarter of the year was 7.2%, Osman was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

Fitch Rating upped its outlook in June on Egypt's credit rating to positive from stable, citing ongoing economic reforms, faster economic growth and increased investments.

The government said last week the current account surplus had surged 54%, as exports and revenues from tourism and the Suez Canal climbed.

Net direct investment in Egypt nearly doubled in the 2006/2007 fiscal year to $11.1 billion, the central bank had said. Egypt is also selling hundreds of state-owned companies, including some of its largest banks, in a privatisation drive.

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