Egypt’s central bank keeps interest rates on hold

Egypt’s central bank has left its main interest rates on hold in a bid to balance the slowdown caused by the coronavirus crisis with an unexpected uptick in inflation.

The country reported a gross domestic product growth of 5.6% in the last quarter of 2019 but since the onset of the coronavirus crisis it has contended with the collapse of its tourism industry and a decline in gas exports, Suez Canal revenue and remittances from workers abroad.

“Leading indicators shows broad improvement on average in January and February 2020, before reflecting a slowdown in economic activity in March and April 2020,” the MPC said.

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The MPC also left rates on hold at its last meeting on April 2, two weeks after having slashed them by three percentage points at a surprise meeting as a “pre-emptive” move to support the economy in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.


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