Egypt tourism receipts almost tripled and worker remittances rose in the last three months of its fiscal year, marking another step in the country’s economic recovery from a crippling dollar shortage.
Tourism revenue rose to US$1.5 billion in the fourth quarter that ended June 30, from $510 million in the same period a year ago, according to initial central bank data that it shared with Bloomberg. Full-year receipts rose 16 per cent to $4.4bn. Remittances grew 9 per cent to $4.8bn in the fourth quarter, and rose 2 per cent to $17.4bn for the year.
The data is further evidence of a gradual improvement in Egypt’s external finances since November, when authorities embarked on an economic program that included floating the currency and cutting subsidies as a prelude to securing a $12bn IMF loan. The deficit in the current account, which measures incoming and outgoing goods, services and transfers, narrowed 12.4 per cent to $13.2bn in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
“Egypt’s main foreign-currency earners are finally bouncing back, closing in on levels similar to those prevalent before the 2015-2016 crisis,” said Reham El Desoki, a senior economist at the regional investment bank Arqaam Capital.