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Central Bank of Egypt again cuts key rates

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Central Bank of Egypt again cuts key rates

The Central Bank of Egypt (SAE) said it would cut its key interest rates by 100 basis points, noting that its previously strict policy stance helped ease monthly inflation levels.

The central bank further lowered its overnight deposit rate, overnight lending rate and the rate of its main operation to 16.75%, 17.75% and 17.25%, respectively. In addition, the discount rate was trimmed by 100 basis points to 17.25%.

In February, the bank cut those same rates by 100 basis points.

Annual headline and core inflation rates fell for the seventh consecutive month in February to 14.4% and 11.9%, respectively. In July 2017, annual headline and core inflation peaked at 33.0% and 35.3%, respectively.

"The headline and core annual inflation rates thereby register[e]d the lowest since October and April 2016, respectively," the central bank said.

The bank also cited the pickup of economic growth in December 2017, as real GDP expanded by 5.3%. The expansion coincided with an unemployment rate of 11.3% that same month, the lowest rate since December 2010.