Egypt’s annual headline inflation increased slightly to 32.9 percent in April, up 0.4 percent since March and compared to 10.9 percent registered in April last year, according to a Wednesday statement by state statistics body CAPMAS.
However, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) continued to decline in April, registering 1.8 percent compared to 2.1 percent in March, 2.7 percent in February and 4.3 percent in January.
The costs of food and beverages increased year-on-year in April by 44.3 percent, making them the largest contributors to rising inflation.
Year-on-year, the price of cigarettes in April increased 36.2 percent, prices of wheat products increased by 76.4 percent, prices of gold jewlery increased by 64.4 percent, and prices of cutlery and glassware increased by 83.1 percent.
In November, the Central Bank of Egypt floated the exchange rate, which caused the value of the pound to plummet from EGP 8.8 to an average of 18 to the dollar.
Egypt, which relies heavily on food imports, has been suffering from an ailing economy and acute foreign currency crisis since the 2011 uprising that overturned long-time president Hosni Mubarak.
The decision to float the Egyptian pound was part of a government economic reform programme begun in 2014. The programme also cut subsidies and imposed new taxes such as the value-added tax, in an effort to reach a higher growth rate and decrease the budget deficit to 9.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the coming fiscal year 2017/18.
The finance ministry has projected the budget deficit to stand at 10.5 percent of GDP by the end of the current fiscal year.