CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's president says he expects the country's inflation rate to fall by more than half in 2018, forecasting an improving economy after years of political unrest.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told a financial conference on Thursday that the economic reform program he launched is starting to "bear fruit."

He says: "We have set a goal for ourselves to reduce the inflation rate to around 13 percent in 2018."

Annual inflation stood at 31.9 percent in August.

El-Sissi also said the country's Gross Domestic Product grew 4.9 percent in the last quarter of 2016-2017, which ended in June. That compared to 4.1 percent for the same period the year before.

The state budget deficit reached 9.5 percent, down from 11.5 percent during the same period.