Egypt Raises Interest Rates to Curb Surging Inflation

Egypt’s Central Bank said it raised interest rates on Thursday as the embattled Middle Eastern country continues to battle surging inflation and a depreciating currency, the Associated Press reported. In an online statement, the bank’s monetary policy committee said the most basic lending rate, the overnight deposit rate, has increased from 16.25% to 18.25%. The hike aims to ease spiraling inflation, with the annual figure reaching 32.9% in February, up from 26.5% in January. Nearly a third of Egyptians live in poverty, according to official figures, and are struggling to keep up with rising prices, which have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. The prices of basic items such as grains, meat, poultry, fish and fruit, have risen drastically over recent months. Since the outbreak of the war in Europe, the Egyptian pound has lost more than 50% of its value against the dollar. Read more.