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Egypt's inflation slows to 33.3% in March

April 8, 2024 at 12:08 pm

A man counts Egyptian pounds at currency exchange shop in downtown Cairo on 3 November 2016 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation rate slowed to a lower-than-expected 33.3 per cent in March from 35.7 per cent in February, data from the country’s statistics agency CAPMAS showed today according to Reuters.

Month-on-month, prices rose by 1.0 per cent in March, down from 11.4 per cent in February.

A poll of 12 analysts had expected annual inflation to climb to a median 36.3 per cent as prices adjusted to a currency devaluation as well as an interest rate hike in early March and an increase in fuel prices two weeks later.

On 6 March, the central bank allowed the Egyptian pound to fall to about 50 to the dollar from 30.85, where it had been fixed for the past 12 months. It has since strengthened to 47.60 per dollar.

The government raised prices on a wide range of fuel products on 22 March as it pressed ahead with a commitment made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) more than a year ago to allow most domestic prices to rise to international levels.

Inflation has been elevated for the past year, driven largely by rapid growth in the money supply. Annual inflation reached a historic high of 38.0 per cent in September.

Food prices edged up by a monthly 0.7 per cent in March after having jumped by 15.9 per cent in February. On an annual basis, food prices rose by 45 per cent in the year to March.

READ: Egypt raises minimum wage 50% amid fears devaluation of pound, high inflation