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Central bank of Egypt trims key rates

Central Bank of Egypt (SAE) decided to trim its key interest rates by 100 basis points, citing the easing of underlying inflationary pressures.

The central bank lowered its overnight deposit rate, overnight lending rate and the rate of its main operation to 17.75%, 18.75% and 18.25%, respectively. The discount rate was also lowered by 100 basis points to 18.25%, the bank said.

Annual headline and core inflation rates declined for the sixth straight month in January to 17.1% and 14.4%, respectively, in line with the bank's projections. In July 2017, annual headline and core inflation peaked at 33.0% and 35.3%, respectively.

"Headline and core annual inflation rates thereby registered the lowest rates since October 2016 and September 2016, respectively," the bank said.

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