Weaker pound pushes Egyptian inflation higher

Updated 11 February 2013
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Weaker pound pushes Egyptian inflation higher

CAIRO: Price inflation for Egypt’s urban consumers rose to 6.3 percent in the 12 months to January from an annual 4.7 percent in December, official data showed yesterday, an increase economists attributed to a weakening of the Egyptian pound.
Urban inflation was 1.7 percent in the month of January, the data showed - a monthly rise economists said was the biggest in more than two years as the pound lost about 8 percent of its value against the US dollar.
“We see inflation pressures continuing to build up because we see further weakening of the Egyptian pound,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, an economist at EFG-Hermes.
“Price appreciation was recorded amongst various items in the consumer basket as the impact of the weakening EGP was quickly reflected in prices,” EFG-Hermes added in a research note.
The consumer price index for January was 127.9, it said. The index for December 2011 was 125.7, CAPMAS said last year. In separate inflation data, the central bank said core inflation rose to 5.23 percent in January on a year ago, up from 4.44 percent in December.
Core inflation strips out subsidized goods and volatile items including fruit and vegetables.
The Egyptian economy has taken a hit after two years of political instability, following the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. Foreign reserves were down to $ 13.6 billion last month from $ 36 billion on the eve of the uprising and political uncertainty has driven a flight into dollars.
“If you want to look at the future, certainly inflation will go up. Luckily, international global food prices are not expected to rise drastically this year,” said Samir Radwan, a former finance minister.

 


General Electric to trial world’s largest wind turbine in Britain

Updated 34 min 57 sec ago
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General Electric to trial world’s largest wind turbine in Britain

  • Britain is aiming to be a leader in offshore wind technology
  • The largest wind turbines currently in operation are MHI Vestas’ 9 MW turbines in Aberdeen, Scotland

LONDON: US conglomerate General Electric will test the world’s largest wind turbine in a facility in northeast England, it said on Tuesday.
GE Renewable Energy, the renewable arm of the US firm, and the British government-funded Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult signed a five-year agreement to test GE’s Haliade-X 12 megawatt (MW) turbine in Blyth, Northumberland.
“This is an important agreement because it will enable us to prove Haliade-X in a faster way by putting it under controlled and extreme conditions,” John Lavelle, president & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business said in a statement.
Britain is aiming to be a leader in offshore wind technology and its capacity could grow by five times current levels to 30 gigawatts by 2030, according to a report funded by a range of industry participants.
Britain’s energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry welcomed the agreement and said it highlights Britain’s world class research and testing facilities.
The largest wind turbines currently in operation are MHI Vestas’ 9 MW turbines installed at Vattenfall’s windfarm off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Companies have been building larger turbines to help get more power from each turbine installed and drive down the cost of the electricity they produce.
The agreement also includes a 6 million pound ($8.5 million) combined investment from Britain’s Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to install the world’s largest and most powerful grid emulation system at the Catapult’s Blyth center.