A woman with a tray of bread on her head, buys vegetables near a bakery in Cairo March 17, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO, Mar 12 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's trade deficit widened to 21.88 billion Egyptian pounds in December 2014, from 17.96 billion pounds a year earlier, the state's Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said on Thursday.
The rise in the trade deficit is due to a 9.6 percent increase in imports' value, to stand at 38.20 billion pounds in 2014, as opposed to 34.86 billion pounds in December 2013, CAPMAS said. Hike in imported goods' prices mostly involved petroleum products and vehicles.
CAPMAS also reported a 3.5 percent drop in exports' value, standing at 16.32 billion pounds last December, while it was 16.90 a year earlier. Natural gas, medicines, cosmetics, dairy products and clothes were among the main products to suffer drop in exports.
Egypt's annual inflation rate rose by 1.3 percent in February, to become 10.7 percent, CAPMAS announced on Tuesday.
Inflation increased last summer after the government reduced petroleum subsidies and introduced new taxes in July 2014, hiking fuel prices by up to 78 percent.