Inflation expected to drop 10% in H2 2017: Egypt’s Minister

Egyptian Finance Minister Amr al-Garhi said Monday the inflation rate in Egypt is expected to decrease by 10 percent in the second half of 2017, as the country has liberalized the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound, state-run MENA news agency reported.

In an address to some 600 investors and businessmen at a business conference in Cairo, the minister said that since the liberalization decision, as of Nov. 20, foreign investments in Egyptian treasury bills has hit 500 million U.S. dollars.

He expected that this figure, coupled with foreign investments in Egyptian stocks, will exceed the 2010 levels which ranged between 10 to 12 billion dollars.

Earlier in November, the Central Bank of Egypt devalued the Egyptian pound by 48 percent, allowing its currency to float in the financial market based on supply and demand.

Experts say the move is meant to curb the hike of the U.S. dollar due to its shortage, boost foreign investments and meet a key demand of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which granted Egypt a three-year loan worth 12 billion U.S. dollars earlier this month.

The minister also noted that the IMF’s review of the Egyptian economy’s performance will cover all government measures, especially those in Upper Egypt, to address the budget deficit, which the government seeks to cut by 10 percent.

The review will also involve the economic reforms by the government.

Egypt has been struggling to survive a severe economic recession that has led to a decline in foreign currency reserves, a growing budget deficit which has hit 339.5 billion Egyptian pounds (24.6 billion dollars) and equals 12.2 percent of the GDP, and rising foreign debts that have reached 55.8 billion dollars. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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