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Egypt's annual core inflation declines to 8.5 pct in July: central bank
2018/8/10 15:08:40 Source:Xinhua

CAIRO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's annual core inflation rate declined to 8.5 percent in July from 10.9 percent in June, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said Thursday.
The country's monthly core inflation decreased as well, the CBE said in a statement.
"Monthly core CPI (consumer price index) inflation computed by the CBE recorded 0.6 percent in July 2018 compared to 1.6 percent in June 2018," it said.
The core inflation rate excludes volatile items such as food and energy.
The annual headline inflation, which measures the total inflation within the economy including volatile commodities such as food and energy, fell to 13.5 percent in July 2018 from 14.4 percent in June.
But the monthly headline inflation rate rose by 2.5 percent in July from June, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the country's official statistics authority, said in a statement released on Thursday.
The CAPMAS attributed the monthly headline inflation rise in July to the hikes in food prices.
The price of vegetables rose by 8.8 percent, fruits, by 3.5 percent, beverages and tobacco, by 7.2 percent, in addition to a 5.2-percent increase in the prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel materials, it said.
Inflation rates have been rising in Egypt after the country floated the exchange rate of its local currency in November 2016 to deal with the shortage of U.S. dollars and start a strict three-year economic reform program based on austerity measures including fuel and energy subsidy cuts and tax hikes.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) supports Egypt's economic reform plan with a 12-billion-dollar loan, two thirds of which has been delivered already.
In mid-June, Egypt increased fuel prices by up to 66.6 percent to meet the terms of the IMF loan deal and continue the implementation of the country's economic reform program.
Salwa al-Antary, former director of the CBE's research department, expects further rise in inflation rate and relevant soaring prices as the government plans to completely remove subsidies on all oil products, excluding butane gas, by the end of June 2019.
"The government's announced plan is also to remove subsidies on all government services, all forms of energy as well as water, so the relevant price hikes are expected to continue," Antary told Xinhua in an interview.
She said that the fuel and other energy products have been subsidized for a long time and their prices need to be gradually increased.
But she also expressed concern about the common citizens who are suffering from the sudden and frequent subsidy cuts and rising prices.
"The issue is not black and white, for the government provides many services below their cost and it needs to remove fuel and energy subsidies, but at the same time the citizens have been squeezed by the recurrent subsidy cuts and price hikes over the past couple of years," Antary said.

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