Macroeconomics

Egypt’s inflation rate rose at its slowest pace in nearly a year in November while the current account deficit fell by more than 65% in the first quarter of the fiscal year, offering the latest evidence that the economy is rebounding. “The economy is turning a corner: 2017 was a very difficult year and 2018 is probably going to be a better year and the recent data backs that up,” said Simon Kitchen, head of strategy at EFG-Hermes, Egypt’s largest investment bank. Since November 2016, the central bank has repeatedly raised its interest rate to damp soaring prices, but faced criticism from business leaders who said that this would stifle growth. Economists said they expected the central bank to start cutting the interest rate that it charges commercial banks in the first half of 2018. EFG-Hermes expects a reduction of some 400 basis points through next year. State and explain if you agree with this statement: ‘While raising interest rates helped to dampen soaring prices, it stifled growth’ from the above information given about Egypt. Based on the Egypt’s scenario above, identify the specific type of policy Egypt’s central bank intends to adopt in the first half of 2018 and provide 2 evidence to support your answer. Trade sector analysts have commented that the policy set to be adopted in 2018 will make Egyptian exports more competitive. State and explain whether is it true or false, and state and explain Its subsequent impact on Egypt’s current account position based on macroeconomics relevant concepts.

After contracting in the last quarter of 2016 and the first of this year, South Africa’s economy has recovered, led by a large expansion in agricultural activity. For 2017, the nation saw an increase in agricultural exports of R22 billion, but incurred a decline in sales of mining and manufactured goods by R6.4 billion. As a preferred investment destination for many of the world’s top companies South Africa saw American MNC, Ford, investing R3 billion at its Pretoria (a city in South Africa) assembly plant in order to increase production for its Ford Ranger model. Japanese automotive manufacturer, Toyota, also invested R6.1 billion in a production plant while German automobile giant, BMW, constructed a R6 billion state-of-the-art body shop and Beijing Automobile International Corporation invested R11 billion in an automotive manufacturing plant in the country. Portfolio flows also climbed, with non-residents buying South African shares and bonds worth R88.4 billion.

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