September 3, 2019 / 5:47 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt sees lower budget deficit, higher primary surplus in FY 2019/20

(Adds background)

CAIRO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Egypt is targeting a budget deficit of 7.2% this fiscal year, the finance minister said on Tuesday, down from a deficit of 8.2% in 2018/2019.

The government is targeting a deficit of 6.2% in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said at a business conference in Cairo.

The country is targeting a primary surplus of 124 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.51 billion) in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, he said. It had a primary surplus of 104 billion pounds last fiscal year, equivalent to 2% of GDP.

The budget deficit in the 2018/2019 fiscal year was slightly below an official forecast of 8.4%.

More than $10 billion in hot money exited Egypt last fiscal year during the emerging markets crisis, Maait said.

Egypt is targeting economic growth of 6% in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, which began in July, slightly more than the 5.6% targeted in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. (Reporting by Mohamed Sayed; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by William Maclean)

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