Egypt's president has approved a new budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, slashing the projected budget deficit to 8.9 percent of gross domestic product in a move likely to please international creditors. The revised budget deficit for the previous year is 10.8 percent.

The finance ministry says that 50 percent of public spending will be on social protection programs.

In a statement released on Thursday, the ministry says revenues are expected to increase by 27.7 percent to 622 billion Egyptian pounds, with expenditure set to increase 17.4 percent to 868 billion pounds.

It says the new budget aims to reduce public debt, restore confidence in the economy and re-prioritize spending to improve basic public services and strengthen social protection.