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- GDP (PPP):
- $943.1 billion
- 2.2% growth
- 2.7% 5-year compound annual growth
- $10,877 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
After years of political upheaval that left the economy in tatters, Egypt has made progress in restoring confidence. Recent policy choices include measures designed to induce more dynamic investment and spur much-needed private-sector job creation. The reform of fuel subsidies has been a notable achievement.
Economic Freedom Snapshot
- 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 56.0 (up 0.8 point)
- Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
- Global Ranking: 125th
- Regional Ranking: 12th in the Middle East/North Africa Region
- Notable Successes: Trade Freedom and Investment Freedom
- Concerns: Property Rights, Corruption, and Labor Freedom
- Overall Score Change Since 2012: –1.9
The government’s commitment to institutional and structural reforms will be critical to reinforcing progress and ensuring long-term transformation of the economy. The rule of law is uneven across the country, with judicial independence still vulnerable to political pressure. Property rights are not protected effectively, and the perceived level of corruption is very high.
In 2011, the army ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The ensuing period of political instability included dissolution of the parliament in 2012, recurring street demonstrations, and an army coup that ousted the government of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in 2013. A new constitution was approved by referendum in January 2014. The current president, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, was elected in May 2014. As political turmoil has subsided, the vital tourism industry has begun to revive despite continued terrorist attacks, and there are signs of increased investment and economic growth. Despite only a small amount of arable land, farming is an important part of Egypt’s relatively well-diversified economy and employs about 30 percent of the workforce.
Corruption pervades all levels of government, and official mechanisms for investigating and punishing it are very weak. Like its predecessors, the el-Sisi administration is not transparent about government operations and budgeting. The rule of law remains highly unstable, and the judicial system’s independence is poorly institutionalized, although the new constitution has enhanced its autonomy. Property rights are not protected effectively.
Egypt’s top individual and corporate income tax rates are 25 percent. Other taxes include a property tax and a general sales tax. Total tax revenue equals 13.9 percent of domestic income. Government spending amounts to 33.7 percent of the domestic economy. Government fiscal policy is expansionary, with budget deficits over 10 percent of GDP and public debt equivalent to over 90 percent of annual output.
Ongoing regulatory reforms have made starting a business less time-consuming, but in the absence of needed reforms in other critical areas, they have not had much real impact. Informal labor activity persists in many sectors. The government reduced electricity and fuel subsidies significantly in 2014 but did not reduce them further in the 2015 budget, despite the deflationary drop in global oil prices.
Egypt’s average tariff rate is 9.7 percent. Foreign investment in construction and transportation services may not exceed 49 percent. State-owned enterprises are active in several sectors. The state’s presence in the financial sector has been phased out, but modernization of the sector has progressed slowly. Overall use of financial services remains low and has decreased over the past five years.