Central Bank of Egypt raises basic interest by 200 basis points

34

On Thursday, the Central Bank of Egypt announced it would raise interest rates by 200 basis points to curb soaring inflation. Since the beginning of 2022, the Central Bank of Egypt has raised interest rates by 800 basis points. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, core inflation jumped to 40.26% last February, its highest level over five years. In March, the Egyptian parliament approved an additional appropriation of 165 billion Egyptian pounds to the general budget.

A member of the Parliament’s Plan and Budget Committee, Representative Ayman Mohseb, said that the additional appropriation comes from internal loans, which leads to an increase in the budget deficit. Despite his objections to the government’s management of the economic crisis, Mohseb approved the additional appropriation as a necessity, noting that the purpose of the grant is to subsidize fuel and electricity and increase government salaries. According to deputies, the session has witnessed a sharp attack on the government for its inability to deal with the economic crisis.

Representative Diaa El-Din Dawood accused the government of committing constitutional violations in managing the economic crisis, pointing out that its agreement with the International Monetary Fund has yet to be presented to the parliament. Mohseb said that the deputies have yet to receive a response from the government regarding their repeated demands that the prime minister appears before the parliament and present a clear plan to confront the economic crisis. Representative Maha Abdel Nasser also demanded the withdrawal of confidence from the government for its failure to manage the economic crisis.