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

Bassem Abo Alabass, Monday 31 Oct 2011

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

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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