Egypt’s central bank kept its key overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, a decision that was in line with analysts’ forecasts and the bank’s fifth pause since it last lowered rates in September.
Ten out of 10 economists participating this week in a Reuters poll forecast that the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee would keep rates steady.
The overnight lending rate was left at 9.75 percent and the deposit rate at 8.25 percent, the central bank said on its website. The discount rate was also kept steady at 8.5 percent.
The central bank has been trying to stem inflation without stifling economic growth.
Inflation unexpectedly slowed to 12.2 percent year-on-year in March from 12.8 percent in February and a peak of 23.6 percent in August 2008.
Gross domestic product, which had been growing by about 7 percent per year, fell to 4.7 percent in the financial year that ended in June, but then rebounded to 5.1 percent in the Oct-Dec quarter.
The government’s draft budget for the next fiscal year projected economic growth of 5.8 percent, up from an estimated 5 percent this year.