Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged at a meeting of its monetary policy committee on Thursday, saying it expected much of the economy to expand in the near term and inflation to remain in check.

The committee kept the deposit rate at 8.25% and the lending rate at 9.25, it said in a statement. All 18 analysts polled this week had predicted no change in rates.  

"Over the near-term, domestic economic activity is expected to be mainly driven by domestic demand and, in specific, gross domestic investments," the committee said.

"Additionally, leading indicators point towards a continued expansion across most economic sectors."

The committee's statement said annual inflation, which increased to 5.9% in December from 5.6% in November, remained within the central bank's target range of 5-9%.

Keeping policy unchanged remains consistent with achieving that target and keeping price stability over the medium term, it said.

(Reporting by Yasmin Hussein; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli and Patrick Werr; Editing by Alex Richardson) ((;))