File Photo: Produce is displayed at a vegetable market in Cairo. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation eased to 13.0 percent in April from 14.2 percent in March, official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Thursday.
“The figures are lower than our expectations,” said Radwa El-Swaify, head of research at Pharos Securities Brokerage.
“This month was the lowest month-on-month increase in three years.”
Urban inflation rose 0.5 percent month-on-month in April, CAPMAS said, down from 0.8 percent in March.
Egypt has been carrying out an IMF-backed economic reform programme since 2016 which saw inflation rise to a high of 33 percent the following year.
However, the monbetary policies of the central bank over the past three years reigned in inflation significantly.
Still, rising fruit and vegetable prices have prolonged inflationary pressures.
“We expect next month’s figures to see a rise between 0.5 and 1 percentage points and for current rises in vegetable prices to be reflected,” Swaify said.
“Based on our analysis, increased efforts made by the government to provide the market with ample supplies of volatile food items (fruits, meat and vegetables) prior to the Ramadan season, has helped cool off the supply/demand pressures on inflation,” Naeem Brokerage, which predicted headline inflation would fall to 13.2 percent, said in a note on Wednesday.
In a report published last month, the IMF said that inflation in oil importing countries in North Africa including Egypt is expected to remain mostly unchanged at around 10% this year.