Egypt's Finance Minister says deficit will be higher, growth lower than earlier forecast

Egypt's new finance minister says economic growth will remain at around 2 or 2.5 percent for 2013-14, rather than increase as his predecessor had predicted.

Hany Kadry Dimian also told reporters Wednesday that the budget deficit will stay high at 12 percent. Last year's deficit of 13.7 percent was a record high, while growth was an anemic 2.1 percent.

Dimian's predictions are more pessimistic than those of his predecessor, Ahmed Galal, who resigned with the rest of the Cabinet last month amid a wave of labor strikes.

Egypt is banking on support from oil-rich Gulf states and increased investor confidence following last year's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to help the economy recover from three years of unrest.

Dimian said earlier projections expected better tax revenues and growth.