Over the first half of 2014/2015, Egypt's balance of payments ran an overall deficit of some 1$ billion (against an overall surplus of about $2.0 billion in the respective period a year earlier), the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in statement on its official website.
"This is largely ascribable to the $3.0 billion repayments made by the Egyptian authorities to the external world, as part of their obligations thereto (bonds and deposits). This attests to the commitment and ability of the Egyptian economy to honor its external obligations on a timely basis," the statement added.
The current account deficit widened to $4.3 billion (from $866.0 million), due to many factors that included trade deficit expanded by 33.6 percent, to post about $20.2 billion (compared with some $15.1 billion), mainly driven by the rise in merchandise imports by 14.7 percent, to register roughly $32.4 billion (compared with some $28.3 billion) and the decline in merchandise exports by 7.0 percent, to register around $ 12.2 billion (compared with around $ 13.2 billion).
Services balance achieved a surplus of some $3.9 billion (against a deficit of $463.9 million). Tourism revenues were a key agent behind this shift, as they jumped to about $4.0 billion (against some $1.9 billion), supported by the 81.9 percent increase in tourist nights, which scored 53.4 million nights (versus 29.4 million nights).
Net unrequited transfers retreated by 18.4 percent, to stand at some $12.0 billion (against some $14.7 billion), mainly on the back of the drop in net official transfers (cash and commodity) to register a modest figure of some $2.6 billion (compared with some $6.2 billion).