• Egypt inflation surge shows signs of easing


    CAIRO: Egypt’s runaway inflation showed signs of easing in March, official figures showed Monday, amid price hikes following the flotation of the currency last year.

    On a monthly basis, prices rose in March by 2.1 percent, compared with 2.7 percent in February and 4.3 percent in January, the figures from state statistics office CAPMAS show.

    While prices continued to rise, with annualised inflation hitting 32.5 percent in March, the pace of inflation jumped by less than in February.

    Consumer prices have surged since November when Egypt floated its currency and slashed fuel subsidies as part of the three-year, $12 billion (11 billion euro) loan deal with the IMF.

    The Egyptian pound, which had been pegged at 8.83 to the dollar, has since plummeted in value, trading at up to 19 pounds to the dollar.

    Chris Jarvis, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief in Egypt, said in January that he expected “quite significant falls” in inflation by the second half of this year.

    But while inflation is growing at a slower rate, March’s price hikes remain the most rapid since a 2011 revolution that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak, triggering years of economic instability.


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