IMF: Egyptian pound depreciation was ‘more than expected’

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IMF mission chief for Egypt, Chris Jarvis said Wednesday that Egyptian pound had depreciated more than expected when it was floated as part of the reform package.

However, the International Monetary Fund official further said he expected it to come down and economic growth to pick up.

Egypt is making progress with its economic reform program, although it will still take time to improve living standards for the whole population, he added.

Speaking from IMF headquarters in Washington, Jarvis said that Egypt’s government and central bank were sticking to their pledges made to secure a $12 billion loan package from the lender of last resort, and that this was “showing some results.”

Egypt qualified for the loan, but inflation in December jumped to a record high of 24.3 percent, the highest since 2008.

The country’s central bank abandoned earlier in November the pound’s peg of 8.8 to the dollar in an effort to attract inflows of capital and close down a booming black market in dollars.

Source: The Associated Press