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Egypt's Annual Inflation Climbs to 12%, Exceeding Central Bank's Target

Egypt's Annual Inflation Climbs to 12%, Exceeding Central Bank's Target

Monday, 11 April, 2022 - 08:45
Egypt's Annual Inflation Climbs to 12 percent (Reuters)

Egypt's annual inflation rate jumped to 12.1 percent in March 2022, compared to 4.8 percent in the same month in 2021, according to the latest data by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

On a monthly basis, the country's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 2.4 percent from February.

The agency said higher prices of cereals and bread drove the increase by 11 percent, meat and poultry by 7 percent, seafood by 6.2 percent, and dairy products and eggs by 5 percent.

In March, the urban inflation surged to 10.5 percent, recording its highest in nearly three years, compared to 8.8 percent in February.

Data from the Central Bank of Egypt showed that the core inflation rate, which does not measure highly volatile goods such as food, rose to 10.1 percent on a year-on-year basis in March from 7.2 percent in February.

Last month, the Central Bank of Egypt raised interest rates by 100 basis points against the backdrop of the economic repercussions of the Russian war on Ukraine. The exchange rate of the pound also declined.

The central bank set its overnight lending rate at 10.25 percent and its overnight deposit rate at 9.25 percent, citing global inflationary pressures amplified by the war in Ukraine.

Cairo is one of the largest importers of grain globally, which put pressure on the local currency, coinciding with the massive withdrawal of the dollar from the country after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates.

It is also working to reduce the impact of the war on the tourism sector, given that Russian and Ukrainian tourists represent about a third of total arrivals.

Egypt requested from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to start talks about a new program to support the Egyptian state's plans for national comprehensive economic reform.

Gulf countries also pledged to provide more than $20 billion in deposits and investments to support the Egyptian economy.

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