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Egypt's urban consumer prices surge to 8-year high at 19.4%

Egypt's urban consumer prices surge to 8-year high at 19.4%

Egypt

Egypt’s headline inflation surged to an eight- year high of 19 .4 % in November. This after the central bank floated the Egyptian pound and the petroleum ministry hiked fuel prices last month.

According to the country’s statistics agency, annual consumer price inflation jumped from 13.6% in October while food and beverage inflation reached 21.5% in November.

Analysts forecast inflation soaring up to 20% by year end on the back of the currency depreciation and expect prices to keep rising in 2017.

“The inflation rate will continue to rise in December and the first quarter of 2017. Don’t forget that the government hiked customs tariffs this month,” Reham El Desoki, senior economist at regional investment bank Arqaam Capital told Reuters.

The Egyptian pound currently trades at 17.9 to the dollar, 50 % below its value before the central bank liberalised the currency.

Officials in the country have sought to reassure the poor that they would be shielded from the worst effects of soaring pricers as public anger simmers in the country of more than 90 million people.

The government has expanded its social security network targeting about 70 million Egyptians who have access to state subsidised bread and other basic commodities.

The north African has embarked on a three year transformation programme aimed at reviving the economy that has been struggling since the 2011 revolution.

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