March 26, 2020 / 1:53 PM / 11 days ago

Egypt reduces GDP growth target for FY 2019-2020 to 5.1%: minister

A worker operates a furnace at a factory belonging to Ezz Steel, Egypt's largest steel producer, at an industrial complex in Sadat City, 94 km (58 miles) north of Cairo, file. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt reduced its GDP growth target for the current fiscal year 2019-20 to 5.1% from 5.6%, Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said on Thursday, amid the coronavirus crisis.

The North African country also is targeting growth of 4.5% in FY 2020-21 but it could dip to 3.5% if the crisis lasts until mid-year, she added.

Inflation is expected to rise to 9.8% if the coronavirus crisis continues until Dec. 2020, the middle of next FY, on the back of high demand on some products like medical supplies and detergents, she said after a cabinet meeting held by video conference.

The cabinet said in separate statement that it approved the draft law of the FY 2020-21 budget with expected deficit of 6.3%.

Reporting by Momen Saied Atallah, writing by Nadine Awadalla and Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Toby Chopra

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