RIYADH: Inflation in Egypt rose to a four-year high in August mainly driven by a rise in food and beverage prices.
The annual inflation rate in the North African country rose to 15.3 percent compared to 6.4 percent in the same month of 2021, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
Last July, the annual inflation rate was recorded at 14.6 percent. Annual urban consumer inflation rose to 14.6 percent year-on-year in August, up from 13.6 percent year-on-year in July, official data showed.
The inflation figures came in line with investment banks’ estimates, which expected it to range between 14.4 percent and 14.6 percent on an annual basis, according to Asharq.
Youssef El-Banna, a financial analyst at Naeem Capital, said the rise “is due to the increase in the prices of vegetables, grains and oils,” Asharq reported.
“This is the highest level of inflation in Egypt’s cities since November 2018, when the figures reached 15.7 percent,” he added.
In July 2022, the Egyptian government raised the price of diesel for the first time since July 2019, by about 50 piasters to 7.25 Egyptian pounds per liter.
The hike in diesel price was expected to push inflation in the country to new levels. The country has also seen prices of all three types of gasoline rise six times.
The Central Bank of Egypt on Monday sold three-month treasury bills at an all-time high value, amounting to 61.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.2 billion), in an auction.
The central bank data revealed that banks and institutions offered an amount of 170.8 billion Egyptian pounds for the short-term bills in the tender, according to Arabic newspaper Asharq.
The bank issues periodic weekly bids on behalf of the Ministry of Finance in order to finance the country’s general budget deficit.
This happens as the world’s largest wheat importer is intensifying its efforts to confront the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Egypt has been hit hard by the soaring oil and commodity prices, with the Egyptian pound devaluing against the dollar.