COVID-19 and the Egyptian Economy: Estimating the Impacts of Expected Reductions in Tourism, Suez Canal Revenues, and Remittances

Egypt’s recent economic success will almost certainly be interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We examine the likely impact on the Egyptian economy of a significant reduction in tourism, payments received from the Suez Canal, and remittances from Egyptians working abroad because of the slowdown in the global economy due to the COVID-19 virus. Our results suggest that COVID-19 could reduce national GDP by between 0.7 and 0.8 percent (EGP 36 to 41 billion) for each month that the global crisis continues. Similarly, household consumption and expenditure is estimated to decline on average by between EGP 153 and EGP 180 per person per month, which is between 9.0 and 10.6 percent of average household income. The cumulative loss in GDP from these three external shocks alone could amount to between 2.1 and 4.8 percent of annual GDP in 2020 if the crisis lasts for 3 to 6 months. While the country’s focus currently is rightly on fighting the health crisis and mitigating its immediate impacts, planning on how to re-open the economy should also start now.