CAIRO – Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation surged to 14.4 percent in June from 11.4 percent in May, the official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Tuesday, after 10 months of steady decline.
The increase, which took economists by surprise, came after Egypt raised fuel, electricity and taxi fares last month. The increases were part of efforts to meet the terms of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan programme from late 2016 that included cuts in energy subsidies and tax increases.
The government in May raised metro fares in a move that had increased public discontent, sparking a brief bout of protests.
“It’s certainly higher than what we estimated,” said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage. “It is of course for the most part taking into account the fuel subsidy cut.”
Prices soared in particular after the import-dependent country floated its currency, the pound, in November 2016, reaching a record high of 33 percent in July 2017. Inflation has eased since then, slowing its lowest level in almost two years in May.(Reuters)