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Egypt’s inflation accelerates to 21.3% beating expectations

Tunisia Reuters/Jihed Abidellaoui
Vegetable prices rose 21.6 percent month on month in August 2023

Egyptian annual urban consumer inflation in December rose to 21.3 percent from 18.7 percent in November, exceeding analyst expectations, data from the statistics agency CAPMAS showed on Tuesday.

The inflation figure was the highest since December 2017, when it hit 21.9 percent. The price rises followed a currency devaluation in October and continued restrictions on imports.

The median forecast in a Reuters poll of 15 economists had projected inflation of 20.50 percent. Five economists also forecast that core inflation, due later on Tuesday, would come in at a median 23.6 percent, up from 21.5 percent in November.

The central bank allowed the Egyptian pound to depreciate by about 14.5 percent on October 27 and let its value continue weakening slowly and incrementally in November and December.

Egypt’s surging prices will add to pressure on the central bank’s monetary policy committee to raise interest rates when it next meets on February 2.