Egypt Interest Rate
Central Bank surprises markets and resumes tightening cycle in August
At its 3 August meeting, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) surprised markets and resumed its tightening cycle by delivering a 100 basis point increase. Consequently, the overnight deposit, overnight lending and main operations rates rose to 19.25%, 20.25% and 19.75%, respectively. The hike surprised market analysts who had priced in a third consecutive hold.
The Bank’s decision reflected headline and core inflation accelerating to 35.7% and 41.0%, respectively, in June. The Bank noted that the stronger price growth was broad-based across basket items and due to persistent supply shocks.
With regard to activity, the Bank released national accounts data; it reported 3.9% year-on-year GDP growth for January–March 2023—unchanged from the prior quarter. The CBE also suggested growth will have eased in the final quarter of FY 2023 (April–June 2023) based on available data. Moreover, the unemployment rate ticked down thanks to an increase in employment levels. These developments, coupled with the current balance of risks to the inflationary outlook, led the committee to tighten its policy stance further to anchor inflation expectations within the CBE’s targets.
The Bank’s communiqué was void of explicit future policy moves. It stated, however, that the committee will “not hesitate to utilize all its available tools to ensure that the policy stance is set at sufficiently restrictive levels with the aim of attaining the CBE’s upcoming inflation targets”. Half of our panelists expect the rates to end 2023 at current levels, while the other half expect an additional 75–100 basis points worth of tightening before the end of the calendar year.
The next monetary policy meeting is set for 21 September.
Egypt Interest Rate Chart
Egypt Interest Rate Data
|Overnight Deposit Rate (%, eop)||16.75||12.25||8.25||8.25||16.25|