Egypt annual inflation rises as food costs jump

CAIRO: Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation increased to 14.1 per cent in May from 13 per cent in April, official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Monday, a rise that analysts said was greater than expected and attributed to rising demand for food products. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 15.1 per cent, up from 13 per cent, CAPMAS said. Overall month-on-month inflation accelerated to 1.1 per cent from 0.5 per cent. Egypt is approaching the end of an IMF-backed economic reform programme during which inflation rose as high as 33 per cent in 2017. Inflation later cooled, but rising food prices, especially fruit and vegetables, have kept pressure high.
“The figures are higher than expected, whether on a monthly or yearly basis,” Radwa El-Swaify, head of research at Pharos Securities Brokerage. “Food and drinks are the main reason for the increase.” Naeem Brokerage said that increase mostly reflected rising demand including higher consumption of food products ahead of the Eid holidays. — Reuters