The country has been able to build strong financial buffers since the Egyptian pound was floated: in December 2018 foreign reserves stood at $44.5bn, compared to less than $17bn at the end of 2016. Looking ahead, the IMF estimates that GDP will grow by 5.5% in 2019 and 5.9% in 2020, powered mainly by a recovery in tourism and rising natural gas output. As part of government efforts to pass on the benefits of the reformed economy to ordinary Egyptians, medium-term social and urban development goals were revealed in August 2018, which included reducing the percentage of people living below the poverty line from the 27.8% seen in 2015 to 22% by 2022.
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