Egypt’s core annual inflation steps up to 7.21% in March, CBE
Central Bank of Egypt -YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt’s core inflation inched up to 7.21 percent in March year-on-year, compared to 7.15 percent a month earlier, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced late Thursday.

Core inflation computed by the CBE went up by 0.76 percent month-on-month in March, compared to a 1.1 rise in February.

In the meantime, Egypt’s urban consumer inflation hiked to 11.51 percent in March, from 10.56 percent in February, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier on Thursday.

This hike brought annual inflation to its former peak after the government cut energy subsidies by 40 billion EGP ($5.6 billion) in July, which raised transportation prices by up to 78 percent.

CAPMAS attributed the rise mainly to a 28.4 percent hike in butane gas cylinder prices, while the prices of vegetables and meats rose by 6.4 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.

In its last meeting in February, the CBE decided to keep the overnight deposit and lending unchanged at 8.75 percent and 9.75 percent respectively. Central Bank’s main operation and the discount rate were also kept at 9.25 percent each.

Meanwhile, banking experts urged the central bank to raise interest rates of local currency deposits to combat dollarization and reduce cash liquidity to restrain inflation pressures that may occur due to local currency depreciation against the dollar in a country that imports more than 60 percent of its needs.

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