First Published: 2017-01-10

Egypt inflation rises to highest level in years
Annual inflation rate soared to 24.3 percent in December two months after government floated pound, slashed fuel subsidies.
Middle East Online

Food prices rose 29.3 percent

CAIRO - Egypt's annual inflation rate rose to 24.3 percent in December, official figures showed on Tuesday, two months after the government floated the pound sparking the biggest price hikes in years.

Consumers have been hit by surging prices since November when then government floated the currency and slashed fuel subsidies as part of an economic reform package linked to a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan.

The Egyptian pound, which had been pegged at 8.83 to the dollar, was trading at more than 18 pounds to the dollar on Tuesday.

The inflation rate is the highest since at least January 2011, according to central bank figures available online.

Food prices rose 29.3 percent, with bread and cereal rising 54.1 percent, rice rising 77 percent, and flour rising 52.7 percent, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics said in a statement.

Clothing and shoes prices rose 20.3 percent, while health care costs rose 33.3 percent, the bureau said.

Annual inflation stood at 20.2 percent in November, the statistics bureau said.

In addition to the pound's devaluation, authorities also increased tariffs on hundreds of imported items to up to 60 percent in December and introduced a value added tax in September.

The IMF approved the $12 billion loan in November after Egypt saw its foreign currency reserves plunge amid political and economic turmoil since the 2011 uprising which toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

The tourism sector, one of the main sources of foreign currency, has been badly hit by a persistent jihadist insurgency.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the 2013 military overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first elected civilian president, vowed to get the economy back on track after his election the following year.

 

Arab leaders meet in Sweimeh on conflicts, 'terror'

No unanimity on Syria ahead of Arab Summit

4 besieged Syria towns to be evacuated under deal

Tunisians demand Muslim marriage decree revoked

Palestinian pints divide Israeli pub

Israeli police shoot dead Palestinian woman armed with scissors

Bahrain sentences two to death for police bombing

Boat from Libya capsizes in Med, 146 migrants feared missing

Saudi police kill 2 gunmen during raid in Shiite-majority town

Over 60,000 S.Sudanese flee to Sudan in last three months

Bus bombing hits Syria's Homs, five dead

CAF chief Ahmad backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid

US arrests Turkish banker for helping Iran violate sanctions

Turkey voices opposition to Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Engineers to carry out urgent maintenance on IS-held Syria dam

Palestinian president meets Trump envoy at Arab summit

UN says over 300 civilians killed since start of west Mosul offensive

Disputed Iraqi province votes to fly Kurdish flag

Germany laments Turkey's 'unacceptable' spying

Syria opposition says no peace deal without US role

Turkey sends delegation to UK over electronics ban

UN chief urges Arab leaders to confront Syria war

Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life for Paris bombing

Arab League set to oppose Trump Israel embassy shift

Tributes flood in for anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada

US vows to never allow 'Israel-bashing' at UN

Netanyahu ban on MP visits to flashpoint holy site challenged

IS launches counter-attack to defend north Syria town

Saudi intercepts four ‘smuggled’ Yemen rebel missiles

Historic Casablanca buildings crumbling in silence

Saudi to set up investment fund to help Jordan

Iran slams Bahrain terror cell claims as ‘delusional’

UN says 30 million unsure of next meal in MENA region

Putin to meet Iran President in Moscow

US, allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

Germany’s Turks cast early ballots for Erdogan referendum

German court convicts Pakistani of spying for Iran

Qatar to invest £5bn in UK within five years

'Kill Erdogan' banner probed in Switzerland, Turkey

Arab League chief urges resolution to Syria conflict

Serious challenges for Arab leaders in Amman

Israel arrests 22 ultra-Orthodox sex offenders

Syrian forces pause offensive on IS-held dam for repairs

Dubai's Emaar Malls offers $800m to buy Souq.com