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Egypt inflation slips to 8.8 per cent, its lowest level in 2011

Egypt’s inflation dips in August as food prices rise at a slower pace for the fourth month, but the poor are yet to feel the ease

Salma Hussein, Saturday 10 Sep 2011
Inflation
Bread like cereals and potatoes prices rose at a higher pace in August on both monthly and annual basis. (Photo: Reuters)
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Food inflation decreased for the fourth consecutive month, driving the overall annual inflation rate to fall to 8.5 per cent in August from 10.4 per cent in July. This records its lowest level in 2011, according to data posted on the website of the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics today, Saturday.

Beltone Financials and Prime Investment banks predicted earlier that inflation would grow at two digits for the rest of 2011.

Food and beverage costs, the heaviest component of the consumer price index, increased an annual 12.2 per cent, from 16.7 per cent a month earlier.

Inflation did increase in August by 2.5 per cent compared to July at 1.9 per cent. However, this jump is partly attributed to the fact that August coincided with the month of Ramadan, where food consumption doubles.

Foodstuffs constitute 44 per cent of the total items included in Egypt’s weighted basket of commodities used to measure inflation.

For the second month, starchy meals (meals of the poor) witnessed the biggest surges among all food groups. Rice annual inflation is at 86 per cent, potatoes 27 per cent and bread and cereals at 26 per cent.

Eighteen days of protests in January 2011, sparked by falling living standards, high unemployment and a lack of democratic rights led to Mubarak’s ouster on 11 February. Business was almost at a stop then and has only partially resumed.

Egypt’s economy grew 1.8 per cent in the fiscal year that ended 30 June, its weakest performance in at least 10 years.

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