Inflation drops to 17.1% in January
Monetary policy victory lap time? Annual inflation dropped to 17.1% in January from 21.9% in December, CAPMAS announced on Thursday, according to Reuters. Core inflation also fell to 14.35% from 19.86% a month earlier. The CAPMAS report notes that vegetable prices dropped by 3.3% m-o-m nationwide, with food overall dropping 0.5% m-o-m.
Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told the press yesterday he sees the rate falling to 10-13% by the end of the year. Inflation levels are expected to decrease gradually over the next three years to reach 7.1% by 2021, a ministry report picked up by Al Borsa says.
Does the drop portend an interest rate cut on Thursday? Not necessarily, Pharos Securities Brokerage Head of Research Radwa El Swaify says. “We believe that there is still a high chance of maintaining rates at this meeting. If we see cuts, it will be within the 0.5-1% range.” She told Bloomberg that she expects a “significant interest rate drop” in 2H2018, as inflation could hit 13% as early as June if the current trend is maintained.