Egypt’s economic growth accelerated to 4.9 per cent in the third quarter, up from 4.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

According to Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes, the government’s £E15bn ($2.74bn) economic stimulus package has supported investment growth. The banks expects that the additional £E8bn stimulus package budgeted for 2009/10 will boost economic growth further as will planned investments of £E10bn in water and road projects. EFG-Hermes forecasts that gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 4.5 per cent in 2009/10.

Economic growth and stable inflation rates allowed the Central Bank of Egypt to maintain interest rates for the first time in 2009, when it met on 5 November. The overnight deposit rate is 8.25 per cent and the overnight lending rate stands at 9.75 per cent. The bank has cut overnight deposit and lending rates by 3.25 and 3.75 per cent respectively since the beginning of 2009.