July 26, 2018 / 10:52 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt's budget deficit narrows to 9.8 pct in FY 2017/18

(Adds fuel subsidies increase and background)

CAIRO, July 26 (Reuters) - Egypt’s budget deficit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was 9.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 10.9 percent the previous year, deputy finance minister Ahmed Kouchouk said on Thursday.

Egypt achieved a primary fiscal surplus for the first time in 15 years, making four billion Egyptian pounds ($224 million), Kouchouk said in a news conference.

Tax revenues increased by 36 percent in fiscal year 2017-2018, to 628 billion Egyptian pounds, he added.

Egypt increased subsidies on fuel to 121 billion Egyptian pounds, up from previous projections of 110 billion pounds, Kouchouk said.

The economy has been battered by years of turmoil that began after mass protests in 2011 forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

But the country has been showing signs of recovery in recent months amid tough reforms including cuts to energy subsidies implemented by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as part of a $12 billion IMF loan agreement. ($1 = 17.8500 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ehab Farouk, writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Stephen Powell)

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