Egypt’s current account deficit widens to $2.8 billion in July-Sept

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Egypt’s current account deficit widened to $2.8 billion in the July-September quarter from $1.4 billion in the same quarter of 2019 as the coronavirus pandemic caused tourism revenues to collapse and foreign investment in oil and gas fell.

This “is an expected temporary increase in the (current account) deficit due to travel restrictions brought about by the pandemic,” the central bank said in a statement.

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Revenues from tourism plunged to $801 million in July-September from $4.2 billion a year earlier, the central bank said, even after Egypt gradually reopened to international flights in June after stopping most of them in mid-March.

Overall revenues from tourism plunged almost 70 percent in 2020, the tourism ministry said earlier this month.

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) fell 31 percent year-on-year to $1.6 billion, after net investment in the oil and gas sector shrank to a minus $75.3 million from a positive $744.2 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, remittances from Egyptians working abroad rose 19.6 percent to $8.0 billion during the quarter.

The overall balance of payments registered a deficit of $69.2 million compared with a surplus of $227 million in the same period a year earlier, the central bank said on Sunday.

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