Jan 18, 11:36 AM EST

Egypt making progress with economic reform plan, IMF says

Latest News
4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt
Women join fight against female circumcision
Cheap electronics threaten Egyptian repairmen
Egypt puts soccer star Aboutrika on no-fly, terror list

Egypt making progress with economic reform plan, IMF says

Egypt says gunmen kill 8 policemen at desert checkpoint

Egypt drops case against mob that attacked Christian woman

Residents of Egypt's northern Sinai threaten protests

A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
Egypt making progress with economic reform plan, IMF says

American Airlines to sell restricted 'basic economy' ticket

UN report: Asian growth outlook bright despite uncertainty

Official: Puerto Rico govt could collapse if no steps taken

UN forecasts modest economic recovery but no robust revival

Investor optimism about Germany ticks upward in survey

UK inflation soars to its highest level in 2 years

Inflation up, economy better, but ECB to continue stimulus

IMF boosts growth forecast for US, cites Trump impact

More pay, greater confidence lifts US retail sales 0.6 pct.

Greece's Debt Threatens to Spread
State budget
gaps map
Auto industry problems trickle down, punish Tennessee county
Women give old Derby hats a makeover in tough economy
S.C. town deals with highest unemployment in South
How mortgages were bundled and sold as securities
Tracking the $700 billion financial bailout
Tracking the year's job losses
State-by-state foreclosures since 2007
Credit crisis explained
Presidents and their economic legacies
Lexicon of the financial crisis
Americans' addiction to debt

CAIRO (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that Egypt is making progress with its economic reform program, although it will still take time to improve living standards in a poor country beset with rocketing inflation.

While the currency depreciated more than expected when it was floated as part of the reform package enacted late last year, there is potential for it to come down as economic growth picks up, IMF Mission Chief for Egypt Chris Jarvis said in a news conference broadcast online from IMF headquarters in Washington.

Egypt's government and central bank were sticking to their pledges made to secure a $12 billion loan package from the lender of last resort, and that this was "showing some results," he said.

"Exchange rate liberalizations are always difficult. The one in Egypt is actually off to a pretty good start," he said. "When Egyptians ask themselves at the end of this program, are you better off, they would be able to answer with ... a yes."

Egypt qualified for the loan, but the reforms led to inflation in December jumping to a record high of 24.3 percent, the highest since 2008. The currency, the pound, depreciated from 8.9 pounds to the dollar to nearly 19, adding to the inflation as many products are imported. But Jarvis said he expected inflation to drop significantly by the second half of 2017.

The second tranche of the IMF loan will be disbursed in late April, he said, adding that IMF representatives will visit Cairo in late February to assess in detail how things are going.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.