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Egypt's annual inflation reaches 10 month high of 11.5%

Inflation peaks due to food price and butane gas hikes: CAPMAS

Ahram Online, Sunday 10 Nov 2013
Cairo
File file: A man carries a gas cylinder distributed by the army in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt’s annual urban inflation rose to 10.4 percent in the yearly figures calculated up until October 2013, from 10.1 percent in the year to September, according to figures from the Central Agency for Statistics and Mobilisation (CAPMAS) on Sunday.

The overall annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate registered 11.5 percent in October, reaching 143.3 points, the highest annual inflation to date.

On a monthly basis, headline inflation in October increased by 1.2 percent compared to the previous month.

The CAPMAS report attributes both these annual and monthly rises to food price hikes, which registered at 16.5 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The leap in prices includes vegetables, which saw a 0.7 percent increase, as well as poultry and meat, the prices of which surged by 4 percent.

In late September, the Egyptian government announced that it might set official prices for fruit and vegetables, because of the number of complaints the state ministry of supply has received regarding price hikes.

Minister of Supply Mohamed Abu-Shadi has requested that grocers nationwide, some of whom are currently making a profit margin of 25 percent, set their prices. 

The increase in the cost of cooking gas cylinders by 17.2 percent month-on-month in October also contributed to the inflation upturn.

Long queues have been reported in recent days at gas depots across the country, suggesting that Egypt is facing a new fuel crisis.

The Ministry of Internal Trade and Supply said the shortage is mainly due to delays in shipments of butane gas as a result of poor weather conditions.

The ministry said the crisis has been further intensified by the trafficking of cylinders on the black market.

Egypt imports 50 percent of its butane, as local production stands at 4.5 million tonnes per annum.  

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