Hayes Mehana (R), 78, and Om Hany, 60, pose for a photograph at a vegetable market in Cairo, Egypt, February 12, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation rose to 7.2 percent in January from 7.1 percent in December, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Monday.
It also announced that month-on-month urban headline inflation stood at 0.7 percent from December, adding that Inflation remains within the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) target range of 9 percent, plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Egypt’s core inflation increased to 2.7% year-on-year in January from 2.4% in December, the CBE announced.
Egypt's annual consumer price inflation rate recorded its highest rate since August in December 2019, rising to 7.1 percent from 3.6 percent in November.
According to Trading Economics data, prices rebounded for food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.8 percent vs -4.6 percent in November), namely fruits & vegetables (10 percent vs -11.9 percent), mainly due to higher demand during the festive season.
Meanwhile, costs slowed mostly for housing and utilities (4.6 percent down from 4.7 percent); clothing & footwear (3.8 percent down from 5.5 percent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco (1.5 percent down from 1.7 percent) and restaurants and hotels (10.9 percent down from 11.4 percent).
Meanwhile, inflation remained steady for transport at 16 percent, education at 21.9 percent, and recreation and culture at 13.8 percent, according to the CBE statement released in the wake of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision to keep interest rates without changes in its last meeting held in January.
Annual headline urban inflation recorded 7.1 percent in December 2019 compared to 3.6 percent in November 2019, as monthly inflation recorded negative 0.2 percent in December 2019 compared to negative 3.4 percent in December 2018.
The CBE also said that annual core inflation recorded 2.4 percent in December 2019 compared to 2.1 percent in November 2019 due to higher poultry prices, which drove the MPC to keep interest rates.
Real GDP growth stabilised, recording a preliminary estimate of 5.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019, after recording 5.6 percent in fiscal year 2018/19, the highest growth since fiscal year 2007/08.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate recorded 7.8 percent in 2019 Q3 compared to 7.5 percent in 2019 Q2, the lowest level on record.
The MPC’s second meeting in 2020 is scheduled to be held on 20 February amid expectation of keeping interest rates without changes for the second time in a row.