The trade deficit was down for the second quarter running, as government efforts to restrict imports appear to be having an impact. The main change in the services account was a rise in tourism income to $810 million, from $587 million the previous quarter. Before 11 September, tourism was bringing in on average about $1,000 million a quarter.

The capital account moved back into deficit, mainly because of a $696 million outflow in the form of ‘other investments’, suggesting a degree of capital flight associated with uncertainty about the exchange rate.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $13,773 million at the end of March from $13,644 million one month earlier.