Egypt Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley where most economic activity takes place. Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Agriculture, hydrocarbons, manufacturing, tourism, and other service sectors drove the country’s relatively diverse economic activity.

Despite Egypt’s mixed record for attracting foreign investment over the past two decades, poor living conditions and limited job opportunities have contributed to public discontent. These socioeconomic pressures were a major factor leading to the January 2011 revolution that ousted MUBARAK. The uncertain political, security, and policy environment since 2011 has restricted economic growth and failed to alleviate persistent unemployment, especially among the young.

In late 2016, persistent dollar shortages and waning aid from its Gulf allies led Cairo to turn to the IMF for a 3-year, $12 billion loan program. To secure the deal, Cairo floated its currency, introduced new taxes, and cut energy subsidies - all of which pushed inflation above 30% for most of 2017, a high that had not been seen in a generation. Since the currency float, foreign investment in Egypt’s high interest treasury bills has risen exponentially, boosting both dollar availability and central bank reserves. Cairo will be challenged to obtain foreign and local investment in manufacturing and other sectors without a sustained effort to implement a range of business reforms.

Real GDP growth rate

4.2% (2017 est.)

4.3% (2016 est.)

4.4% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.3% (2019 est.)

14.4% (2018 est.)

29.6% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 206

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B+ (2019)

Moody's rating: B2 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2018)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1,180,890,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,118,715,000,000 (2018 est.)

$1,062,265,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 21

GDP (official exchange rate)

$323.763 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$11,763 (2019 est.)

$11,366 (2018 est.)

$11,014 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 136

Gross national saving

14.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

13.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

10.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 148

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 11.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 34.3% (2017 est.)

services: 54% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 86.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 10.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 14.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 16.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -28.5% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 60.1 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 87.8 (2020)

Trading score: 42.2 (2020)

Enforcement score: 40 (2020)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, sugar beet, wheat, maize, tomatoes, rice, potatoes, oranges, onions, milk


textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, light manufactures

Industrial production growth rate

3.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 84

Labor force

24.113 million (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 25.8%

industry: 25.1%

services: 49.1% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.86% (2019 est.)

12.7% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 122

Population below poverty line

32.5% (2017 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

31.5 (2017 est.)

29.8 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 143

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 26.6% (2008)


revenues: 42.32 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 62.61 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

17.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 165

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-8.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

Public debt

103% of GDP (2017 est.)

96.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover central government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions

country comparison to the world: 14

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$8.915 billion (2019 est.)

-$7.682 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190


$87.891 billion (2018 est.)

$66.506 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Exports - partners

United States 9%, United Arab Emirates 6%, Italy 6%, Turkey 6%, Saudi Arabia 6%, India 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, gold, natural gas, fertilizers (2019)


$115.345 billion (2018 est.)

$103.636 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Imports - partners

China 15%, Russia 7%, United States 6%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Germany 5%, Turkey 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, wheat, crude petroleum, cars, packaged medicines (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$35.89 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$23.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 47

Debt - external

$109.238 billion (2019 est.)

$92.638 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 52

Exchange rates

Egyptian pounds (EGP) per US dollar -

15.69 (2020 est.)

16.14 (2019 est.)

17.90999 (2018 est.)

7.7133 (2014 est.)

7.08 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Egypt on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Egypt 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Egypt 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.