Egypt’s annual headline inflation decreases slightly to 30.9% from April to May: CAPMAS

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Jun 2017

The annual headline inflation, however, spiked year-on-year from 12.2 percent in May 2016

An Egyptian street vendor sits at the back of a pickup truck along with vegetables displayed for sale, in Cairo, Egypt (AP)

Egypt's annual headline inflation rate declined slightly to 30.9 percent in May, down from 32.9 percent in April and up from 12.2 percent in May 2016, state statistics body CAPMAS announced on Thursday.

However, the country's consumer price index (CPI) increased slightly in May, registering 1.6 percent compared to 1.8 percent in April and 2.1 percent in March.

In an emailed statement, CAPMAS said the costs of food and beverages rose year-on-year by 41.6 percent, largely contributing to the spike in inflation.

Year-on-year, the prices of vegetables increased by 44.6 percent, gold by 73.2 percent, wheat products by 76.4 percent and prices of meat by 38 percent.

Egypt's inflation rate has been soaring since the Central Bank of Egypt floated the exchange rate in November, as part of a set of reforms aiming to revive the country's flagging economy. The float 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 pound was part of a government economic reform programme begun in July 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 slow the growing state budget deficit -- now 12.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) -- to 9.1 percent 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.

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