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Egypt's consumer index falls 38 per cent on price hikes and political tensions

Spending on food and other commodities falls as soaring costs and post-uprising uncertainties take their toll on consumer confidence

Bassem Abo Alabass, Monday 31 Oct 2011
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Egypt's consumption index dropped 38 per cent in September 2011 compared to the same period the year before, according to retail figures compiled by the Egyptian Federation of Commerce.

Ahmed El-Wakil, federation chairman, told Ahram Online that the plunge in sales for Egyptian retail chains showed the damaging effects of hefty price hikes and ongoing political tension on consumer confidence.

El-Wakil said consumption fell an annual 40 per cent for foodstuffs, more than 80 per cent for cars, and 50 per cent for garments.

"Deterioration of tourism [and sales of products to tourists] also caused the index to drop," El-Wakil added.

Egypt’s annual inflation registered 8.5 per cent in September, a slight fall from August's figure of 8.8 per cent, according to the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS.

Inflation rose 1.5 per cent in September month-on-month, with the consumer price index reaching 119.9.

In 2007, the peak of Egypt's economic growth, domestic consumption made up 75 per cent of GDP, while exports made up the rest.

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