Egypt's Macroeconomic Statistics

According to the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Egypt's trade deficit rose to 15.8 billion EGP in July of this year, compared to 13.4 billion EGP during the same period last year.

CAPMAS says that petroleum product, plastics, wood, and chemical imports have increased markedly. Exports also rose to 14.4 billion in July of this year, compared with 9.9 billion EGP for the same period last year, almost a 26% increase. CAPMAS believes that the rise stems from increased exportation of fertilizers, flat-rolled product and petroleum-ready wear. The Egyptian pound weakened to a five-year low versus the US dollar.

After several months trading sideways in the EGP 5.69/ $1 range, the pound underwent a sell-off in the end of October to trade at EGP 5.7360/$1. The drop comes as Egypt's central bank tries to keep a balance between competition in exports and a reduction in inflation. However, the selloff was worsened more by the dollar's strength than the pound's weakness.

Traders have listed a few reasons for the pound's recent drop, and have voiced their concerns over the country's political direction as election season is approaching. Some believe that the central bank has intentionally let the pound weaken to aid exporters.

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