| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

Egypt’s central bank forecast to leave interest rates on hold, Reuters poll

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is expected leave its overnight interest rates steady at a meeting on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed, as increased commodity prices and domestic inflation counteract any pressure for a reduction.

All 18 analysts polled believed the CBE would keep rates steady at its regular monetary policy committee meeting.

The lending rate has been at 9.25 percent and the deposit rate at 8.25 percent since November, their lowest since July 2014.

The bank cut its rates by 50 basis points in each of November and September after having slashed them by 300 points in March 2020 to confront fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest inflation report showing an acceleration to 4.8 percent, combined with the global picture of rising prices and concerns about imminent tightening, makes the CBE likely to err on the side of caution once again,” said Daniel Richards of Emirates NBD.

Some analysts say Egypt’s real interest rates, among the highest in emerging markets, give the central bank scope for a rate decrease to boost growth.

Urban consumer inflation climbed to 4.8 percent in May, its highest level this year. The figure remained below the 5 to 9percent target range set by the central bank in December.

A draft budget sent to parliament in April forecast 7 percent inflation in the financial year that begins on July 1. It also predicted economic growth quickening to 5.4 percent from this year’s expected 2.8 percent.

  • Reuters