Central Bank of Egypt hikes rates as reserves dwindle and inflation rises

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The Central Bank of Egypt yesterday raised interest rates by 50 basis points, ostensibly to tackle rising inflation, but also – according to some commentators – in a bid to prop up the country's dwindling reserves.

The central bank said inflation increased to 2.5% month-on-month in February, the fastest rise since August 2010, translating into a year-on-year increase of 8.2%. Growth however was 2.4% in the first half of fiscal 2012-13, a figure the central bank described as "feeble".

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