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Egypt's annual urban inflation falls to 9.8% in February

State body CAPMAS says that inflation continues to decline since its peak in November 2013

Ahram Online, Monday 10 Mar 2014
Prices of vegetables
Prices of vegetables and garments were slipped month-on-month in February by 2.7 and 4.4 percent respectively (Photo: AP)

Egypt’s annual urban inflation slowed to 9.8 percent in February 2014 to reach 143.9 points, down from 11.4 percent in the same month last year, according to a statement by state statistics body CAPMAS on Monday.

According to CAPMAS, the urban consumer price index (CPI) eased to one percent compared to January 2014.

The headline CPI has similarly declined to 10.2 percent year-on-year at 146.4 points, compared to 12.2 percent in the year leading up to February 2013.

On a monthly basis, overall inflation dropped to one percent, from 1.6 percent the previous month.

CAPMAS said that February witnessed the third consecutive decline in the headline CPI since it had hit 14.2 percent in November 2013, the highest level since 2010.

Inflation went down in February despite the eight-percent hike in cigarette and alcoholic beverage prices in the same month, CAPMAS stated.

In early February, Egypt's interim government increased the price of cigarettes. Local brands rose by between LE0.5 and LE0.75 per pack, meaning that a pack of Cleopatras, the cheapest and most popular local brand, would cost between LE6.25 and LE7.00, compared to LE5.75 and LE6.50 previously.

An increase of between LE1 and LE1.5 on imported cigarettes has taken brands like Marlboro, Merit and Kent up from LE15.5 to LE17.

Lower-price imported brands L&M and Rothmans saw a price rise of LE1 to LE12 per pack after the changes.

CAPMAS also said that prices of vegetables and garments slipped month-on-month in February by 2.7 and 4.4 percent respectively.

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