June 15, 2017 / 1:06 PM / a month ago

Egyptian economy grows 4.3 pct year/year in third quarter of 2016/17

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CAIRO, June 15 (Reuters) - Egypt's gross domestic product grew 4.3 percent in the third quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year compared with the same period the previous year, said Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed on Thursday, predicting a growth rate of 4 percent by year-end.

The climb is a result of growth in several industries, including communication, tourism and manufacturing, Saeed added at a press conference.

Egypt's economy has been struggling since a 2011 uprising drove foreign investors and tourists away, but the government hopes a $12 billion International Monetary Fund lending programme signed last year will put it on the road to recovery.

The balance of payments achieved an overall surplus of $11 billion in the first nine months of fiscal 2016-17, which ends this month, as non-oil exports increased and non-oil imports declined.

Appetite for Egyptian exports has increased since the northern African country floated its currency last November, as part of economic reforms agreed with the IMF.

Since the flotation, Egypt has seen the value of its currency decline by half and inflation reach record highs, but exports have become more competitive.

Tourism revenues jumped in the third quarter by 128.3 percent to $1.3 billion from $550 million a year earlier as the number of tourist nights surged to 14.2 million in the third quarter from 6.9 million a year earlier, a central bank report showed on Wednesday.

Egypt's budget deficit for the first nine months of the 2016-17 fiscal year dipped to 8.4 percent from 9.4 percent during the same period last year, Saeed said. (Writing by Arwa Gaballa; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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