Egypt: Annual inflation rate hits 14.6%

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On Wednesday, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics issued that the annual inflation rate reached 14.6% last July, compared to 6.1% in the same month the previous year. The general index of consumer prices increased by 0.9% from last June to reach 131.0 points.

Bloomberg has said that Egyptians are facing increasing difficulties in obtaining certain goods, mainly imported clothes, cars, and other items that the government may classify as luxurious. The country’s economy is currently suffering a lack of dollar liquidity and a relative depreciation of the local currency. Bloomberg has explained that despite the availability of essential goods, there is a shortage of luxury products, as consumers’ choices for imported fashion, for example, have diminished. Also, imported food commodities such as breakfast cereals, processed meats and potato chips are becoming unavailable or hard to find.

The Central Bank had adopted controversial policies that complicated import procedures, which led to an increase in the prices of commodities. According to the head of the Internal Trade Committee of the Importer’s Division, Matta Bishai, the import of some commodities, such as electrical appliances, sanitary and household appliances, and auto spare parts, has almost stopped since last March. This led, he added, to an increase in prices by 20 to 45%.