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Egyptian interest rates forecast to be put on hold

April 21, 2014 9:26 am

Analysts have said the Egyptian central bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold next Thursday, as it balances the need to fight inflation while supporting the currency and stimulating an economy battered by more than three years of upheaval, Reuters has reported. Annual urban consumer inflation remains high despite slowing for three consecutive months before holding steady at 9.8% in March, but it may still be too early for the central bank to cut rates to spur on economic activity. Moustafa Bassiouny, an economist at Signet Institute, said the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee was likely to wait until next month before cutting rates. “I expect the MPC to keep rates on hold until the following meeting because of the continuing inflationary pressures and the sluggish economic performance so far this year,” he said.