Remittances up, but economy still faltering

Remittances from Egyptian expats have increased by 40 percent over this fiscal year, said Prime Minister Hesham Qandil on Thursday.

Qandil cited this figure while inaugurating the National Initiative for Economic Launch. He said that he expects some prospective investments to reach up to LE20 billion by the end of the year, which would “help reduce the budget deficit,” he said.

Qandil’s Cabinet has been struggling to salvage an economy that has been hard since the 25 January revolution.

Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed told the Turkish news agency Anadolu on Thursday that the budget deficit for the first half of the 2012-2013 fiscal year reached LE90 billion (US$14.3 billion) as of December 2012.

The Central Bank of Egypt said this week that foreign reserves have fallen to a critical level.

The Egyptian pound recorded a record low against the US dollar this week.

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