CAIRO: Egypt continues to battle surging inflation amid a dramatic slide of its currency as many Egyptians struggle with price hikes, the country’s statistics bureau said on Jan.10.
The state-run Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics released figures showing that the annual inflation was at 21.9 percent last month, up from 19.2 percent in November. That’s compared to 6.5 percent in December 2021, before inflation ballooned in 2022, following the outbreak of Russia’s war on Ukraine that rattled the world economy.
Prices in Egypt rose across many sectors, from food items and medical services to housing and furniture.
Food prices increased by 4 percent on the average in December, with fruits and dairy products leading the list with 7.6 percent and 6.4 percent spikes, respectively.
The higher inflation has inflicted heavy burdens on consumers, especially lower-income households. Nearly 30 percent of Egyptians live in poverty, according to official figures.
Most of Egypt’s more than 104 million population has suffered from price hikes since the government embarked on an ambitious reform program in 2016 to overhaul the country’s battered economy. That program included painful austerity measures like flotation of the Egyptian pound and the slashing of subsidies for fuel, water and electricity.
The economy was also hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and the fallout from the war in Ukraine. Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer, with most of its imports having traditionally come from eastern Europe.__Daily Hurriyet