Egypt’s annual inflation hits 2.4% in October, lowest in decade

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CAIRO, EGYPT - DECEMBER 14: A man carries a tray of bread through a market street on December 14, 2016 in Cairo, Egypt. Since the 2011 Arab Spring, Egyptians have been facing a crisis, the uprising brought numerous political changes, but also economic turmoil, increased terror attacks and the unravelling of the once strong tourism sector. In recent weeks Egypt has again been hit by multiple bomb blasts, the most recent killed 26 Christians inside the St Peter and St Paul Church during Sunday mass. As Christians took to the streets chanting anti-government slogans, fears grow of an escalation in militant activity which would further deal damage to a country trying to rebuild. In recent months protests against rising fuel and food prices, calls for mass anti-government demonstrations and the continued terror attacks have seen Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, suffer a significant drop in popularity. Mr. Al-Sisi has promised change, fearing anger and desperation could lead to popular unrest, however inflation currently sits at the highest level in seven years, jobless rates are above 13percent and more than 90million people are said to be living in poverty. The outlook forced the government to seek a $12 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, pushing the country to float the Egyptian pound to qualify for the loan. The move led to a sharp devaluation of the Egyptian pound which now sits at 18EGP to the dollar. The turmoil is affecting not only the poor but both the middle-class and the wealthy as food and commodity prices skyrocket. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A man carries a tray of bread through a market street in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Egypt’s annual inflation hit its lowest in a decade to reach 2.4 percent in October, the country’s statistics agency said on Saturday.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said inflation dropped to 2.4 percent year on year in October, plunging from 17.5 percent in October 2018, according to official Ahram Online news website.

The decrease in annual inflation was the result of a drop in food and beverage prices by 6.3 percent, the report said, adding that urban consumer price inflation dropped to 3.1 percent, down from 4.8 percent in September.

October’s monthly inflation is 1 percent higher than September, with CAPMAS reasoning the jump to increased prices of books, newspapers, and other products.

The rise came despite a decrease in the prices of vegetables, poultry, and grains.

Inflation has been on a downward trend since May 2019, despite a hike in domestic fuel prices in July 2019.

Supported by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, Egypt started a three-year austerity-based economic reform program in November 2016, including local currency devaluation, fuel and energy subsidy cuts and introduction of value-added tax.

Despite consequent price hikes, the reform program achieved positive results that reflected on the country’s growth rate, which hit 5.6 percent during the 2018/19 fiscal year that ended in late June.

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