The fall in the unemployment rate below 10% will be seen as a further reward for the economic reforms carried out as part of the $12bn rescue package from the International Monetary Fund. Official figures showed that unemployment fell to 9.9% in the three months to June 2018, down from 10.6% in the three months to March 2018 and 12.0% a year earlier. It marked the seventh successive fall in the jobless total and the lowest rate for four years. The Ministry of Planning, Follow-up and Administrative Reform (CAPMAS) expects the rate to keep declining to 8.5% by the fiscal year 2021/22. CAPMAS said the number of jobless decreased by 621,000 to reach 2.9m on a year-on-year basis. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the unemployed decreased by 219,000. Meanwhile Egypt was able to celebrate achieving its first primary budget surplus in 15 years in the fiscal year that ended in June 2018. The surplus, which excludes debt interest payments, came in at EGP4.0bn or 0.2% of GDP. The government is aiming for a 2% primary surplus of $5.5bn in the current fiscal year, which began in July. However, the overall budget deficit was 9.8% of GDP in 2017/18 compared with the previous financial year. There was further good news on the financing front from figures showing that the current account deficit for the third quarter of the 2017/18 fiscal year narrowed thanks to an improvement in tourism revenues. Central bank figures showed the deficit for the three months to March 2018 improved to $1.93bn from $3.1bn a year earlier. Egypt will receive a further $2bn from the IMF following a successful third review of the country’s $12bn three-year Extended Fund Facility. The disbursement was agreed after a Fund visit in May 2018 and takes the total funding provided to $8bn.