Produce is displayed at a vegetable market in Cairo, Egypt June 15, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's annual headline inflation jumped to 24.3 percent in December compared to 20.2 percent in the previous month, weeks after the country freely floated its currency against the dollar in November, state statistics body CAPMAS announced on Tuesday.
The annual headline inflation reached its highest point in at least 7 years, having registered 11.9 percent in December 2015.
In an emailed statement today, CAPMAS attributed the spike in inflation to price hikes in basic goods and services.
The cost of foodstuff and beverages rose by 5.2 percent in December 2016 compared to November 2016 and 29.3 percent year-on-year.
According to CAPMAS, the cost of meat and grains rose year-on-year by 25.6 percent and 54.1 percent respectively, compared to December 2015, while the cost of medical care increased by 33.3 percent.
The statement said that the cost of transportation increased by 1 percent from last month and 22.8 percent year-on-year.
In November 2016, the petroleum ministry implemented new raises for subsidised fuels, including octane, diesel, butane and natural gas, and low-quality mazut.
Meanwhile, the prices of dairy products increased in December 2016 compared to December 2015 by 17.1 percent, fruits by 24 percent, fish by 24.7 percent, and gold by 99.9 percent.
The Central Bank of Egypt decided in early November to float the pound against the dollar and raise key interest rates.
Egypt's core inflation registered 20.7 percent for November, in the latest statistics on the Central Bank's website.
Egypt embarked on a fiscal reform programme in July 2014 in an attempt to curb the growing state budget deficit — now 12.2 percent of the GDP — by cutting subsidies and introducing new taxes including the value added tax.
Egypt's economy has been struggling since the 2011 uprising, with a sharp drop in tourism and foreign investment, two main sources of hard currency for the import-dependent country.