(Adds Q2 growth rate, H1 budget deficit)
CAIRO, March 19 (Reuters) - Egyptian Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said on Sunday that the government is targeting a growth rate of around 5 percent for the 2017-18 fiscal year, state news agency MENA reported.
Speaking at a news conference, Saeed said Egypt is also looking to boost its growth rate from about 4 percent currently to between 6-6.5 percent in 2020.
The growth rate for the second quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year slowed to 3.8 percent from 4 percent during the same period last year, she added, attributing the fall to a decline in consumption and a rise in price of imports due to Egypt’s floating of its pound currency in November.
Last year, the ministry had reported the second quarter figure as 3.8 percent, however.
Egypt’s budget deficit during the first half of the 2016-17 fiscal year, which ends in June 2017, was 5.4 percent of gross domestic product, down from 6.4 percent in the same period last year, Saeed said.
The Finance Ministry is currently preparing the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which begins in July. (Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Dominic Evans)