Egypt's urban consumer inflation unchanged at 14.8 pct in July - state statistics agency

Wednesday 10-08-2016 01:23 PM

An Egyptian vegetable seller is seen at a market in Cairo, Egypt June 15, 2016. Picture taken June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO, Aug 10 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's annual urban consumer inflation rate was steady at 14.8 per cent in July, unchanged from the previous month, state statistics agency said on Wednesday.

The general index of consumer prices pointed to an 0.7 per cent increase in July compared to June, according to the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) report.

The agency attributed the rise mainly to the increase in prices of vegetables and fruits, marking a 3.8 per cent and a 1.4 per cent increase, respectively. The month of July also saw an increase in the prices of diary products, bread and tobacco.

The recent increase in electricity prices may contribute to higher inflation rates in the upcoming period, according to Dubai-based investment bank Arqaam Capital.

The bank said in a report on Tuesday that inflation might increase to 15-16% in September due to the effect of the electricity price increase on the commercial and industrial sectors.

The consumer inflation rate rose to 14.8 per cent in June from 12.9 per cent in May. The agency had attributed the rise mainly to the increase in prices of food as the demands normally increase during the Muslims' holy month of Ramadan, which began on June 6.

Egypt's central bank raised its key interest rates by 100 basis points in June to their highest levels in years, in a move intended to rein in surging inflation and ease downward pressure on the Egyptian pound, following the increase in inflation in May.

The cash-strapped Egyptian government is currently facing the consequences of years of political turmoil triggered by the 2011 Uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, halving the country’s foreign reserves and scaring away tourists and investors. 

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