Economic and Political Overview

flag Egypt Egypt: Economic and Political Overview

In this page: Economic Outline | Political Outline | COVID-19 Country Response


Economic Outline

Economic Overview

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

The Egyptian economy was one of the most resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic and continued growing in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The positive trend accelerated in 2022 when GDP was estimated to have grown by 6.6% thanks to buoyant household consumption (85% of GDP), increased investment (particularly in infrastructure) and continued support from international funding. For 2023, the IMF forecasts growth at 4.4% of GDP amid an increase in natural gas production and favourable world prices, followed by a further acceleration in 2024 (5.2%).

In recent years, Egypt implemented an economic reform program comprising fiscal consolidation measures, the introduction of a floating exchange rate and large cuts in subsidies. In FY 2021/22, the budget deficit decreased to 6.1% of GDP (from 7.2% one year earlier) thanks to an uptick of 7.9% of GDP in collected revenues (up by EGP 89.2 billion, to EGP 588.8 billion) led by higher energy royalties. Over the forecast horizon, the IMF forecasts a budget deficit increase, to 7.3% of GDP this year and 7.4% in 2024. The public debt-to-GDP ratio should also increase, from 89.2% in 2022 to 85.6% in 2023; although the share in the hands of external lenders only accounts for around one-third of GDP, the public debt’s non-resident and foreign currency portions are expected to increase with international financing (Coface). The inflation rate ballooned in 2022 reaching 8.5%, with the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics reporting a consumer price inflation rate of 21.9% in December alone. This was due to the global crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, that as of January 2023 had lost half of its value compared to the beginning of the conflict, as the central bank moved to a more flexible exchange rate under the terms of an IMF financial support package. The authorities are committed to pursue a structural reform program that aims at more inclusive and sustainable private sector-led growth, durable job creation and improved external resilience (IMF). The country’s growth path will be guided by the Egypt Vision 2030 strategy, which comprises numerous programs related to transport, entrepreneurship, logistics, environment, etc. (Oxford Business Group). Nevertheless, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered capital outflows, and, in the context of a still-stabilized exchange rate, reduced the central bank’s foreign reserves and banks’ net foreign assets, widening the exchange rate misalignment (IMF).

The unemployment rate stood at 7.4%, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), with female unemployment being around four times higher than for males. It is estimated that three-quarters of all employees are paid as unofficial workers, 29.7% of the population lives below the poverty line and 4.5% live in extreme poverty, a ratio that has been decreasing in recent years (CAPMAS).

Main Indicators 202020212022 (E)2023 (E)2024 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 382.53423.30475.23387.11368.31
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 3,8024,1464,5633,6443,399
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -6.6-7.1-6.0-7.7-9.2
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 86.289.988.592.987.0
Inflation Rate (%)
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -11.17-18.44-16.55-10.90-11.56
Current Account (in % of GDP) -2.9-4.4-3.5-2.8-3.1

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, Latest data available.

Note : (E) Estimated data


Main Sectors of Industry

Agriculture contributes 11.8% of the GDP and employs 21% of the active population (World Bank, latest data available). The sector has historically been important for Egypt, and it accounts for about 20% of total exports and foreign exchange earnings. According to the latest official governmental figures, Egypt's agricultural exports exceeded 6.3 million tons in 2022, marking a fresh record high, with an increase of more than 624,000 tons from 2021. The country has 3.9 million ha of agricultural land and just 45,000 ha of forests (FAO). The warm climate and the abundant Nile water allow for several annual harvests. The main crops are cereals, cotton, sugar cane and beetroots.

Egypt's non-oil industry remains rather limited. With automotive manufacturing, steel, cotton cultivation, textile production and the construction industry, the secondary sector accounts for 30.8% of the GDP and employs 27% of the workforce (World Bank). Overall, the manufacturing sector alone accounts for 15% of GDP, whereas the mining industry accounts for only 0.5%, but is a strategic sector at the centre of the country’s development plan, as the government aims at increasing its share of GDP to 5% over the next two decades (Oxford Business Group). In spite of economic diversification efforts, the country continues to depend on the Suez Canal for a large part of its foreign income. The total production of all petroleum products in Egypt reached 79.50 million tonnes in 2022, and in the same year 42 oil wells and 11 gas wells were discovered, according to a report by the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Finally, the services sector represents 52.2% of the Egyptian GDP and employs more than half of the population (52%). It is largely dominated by revenues from the telecommunications and tourism sectors. Figures from the Central Bank show that over the nine months from July 2021 to March 2022, Egypt's tourism revenue rose by USD 5.1 billion to USD 8.2 billion over the corresponding period in the previous year (when COVID-19-related restrictions were still in place). Egypt’s digital services exports hit USD 4.9 billion in 2022, reaching 5% of GDP (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology).

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 20.6 26.9 52.4
Value Added (in % of GDP) 11.8 30.8 52.2
Value Added (Annual % Change) 3.8 -1.1 3.5

Source: World Bank, Latest data available.


Find more information about your business sector on our service Market Reports.

Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Business environment ranking


The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

World Rank:

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit - Business Environment Rankings 2020-2024


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Abdel fattah El-Sisi (since June 2014 ; re-elected for a second term in March 2018)
Prime Minister: Mostafa Madbouli (since June 2018)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2024
Parliamentary: 2025
Current Political Context
Egypt’s presidential elections of March 2018 posed little challenge to incumbent Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi being re-elected with 97% of votes. In 2019, a constitutional referendum allowed President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to remain in power until 2030 (instead of 2022 as per the previous regulations), as well as re-introducing an upper chamber – the Senate - in the Parliament, after its abolition in the 2014 Constitution. Moreover, the amendments strengthened the powers of the president over the judiciary, giving him the power to appoint the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court and making him the head of the Higher Council for Judicial Authorities, which appoints the public prosecutor and judicial leaders.
The parliament also passed a law preventing members of the military from standing for political office without permission from the armed forces statutory body.
In 2022, Egypt hosted the COP27, the global climate change summit in which the leaders of all UN nations discussed the problems linked to climate change, giving high visibility to Egypt and its president  El-Sisi.
Main Political Parties

Out of more than 100 parties, only about 20 are under the dome of Parliament, 5 have parliamentary bodies with more than 10 deputies within the House. These parties are:

  • Mostakbal Watan (Nation's Future Party): nationalist, populist
  • Homat El-Watan (Homeland’s Defenders Party): centrist
  • Al Shaab Al-Gomhouri (Republican People’s Party): nationalist
  • New Wafd Party: liberalism, conservatism
  • Modern Egypt: centre-right, liberalism.

Other parties include

  • Reform and Development Party
  • Egyptian Social Democratic Party
  • Freedom Party
  • Congress Party
  • Al-Nour [Yunis MAKHYUN]
  • National Progressive Unionist (Tagammu) Party
  • Justice Party
  • Eradet Geel Party
  • Egyptian National Movement Party
Type of State
Republic based on the Constitution adopted by referendum in January 2014 (amended in 2019). The State has a presidential system of Government.
Executive Power
The President is the Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. He is elected for a six-year term of office. The President is the head of the executive branch and appoints the Prime Minister, who must be approved by a confidence vote in the Parliament. The President also appoints the head of the Council of Ministers. He can dissolve the Assembly and rule by decree.
In 2019 the Parliament voted to remove the limit of two terms for the President, whose term has been extended from four to six years.
Legislative Power
The legislative power is bicameral since the constitutional referendum of 2019 was approved by the House of Representatives in June 2020. It established an upper chamber called the Senate, composed of 300 seats. The House of Representatives is composed of 596 members elected for a period of 5 years by universal suffrage. The President may dissolve the House of Representatives.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Not Free
Political Freedom:
Civil Liberties:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) undertaken by the government of Egypt, please consult the country's dedicated section in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.


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Latest Update: September 2023