ICEC

Egypt targets inflation rate below 8.5% by 2022-end

Egypt’s government is targeting an inflation rate no higher than 8.5 percent by the end of 2022 and is making the battle against rising prices its top priority, Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said on Monday.

Inflation last year surged following a bunch of economic reforms tied to a $12 billion IMF loan programme Egypt signed in late 2016 that includes deep cuts to energy subsidies and tax hikes.

Prices soared in particular after the import-dependent country floated its pound currency in November 2016, reaching a record high of 33 percent in July 2017, though inflation rates have since gradually eased, reaching their lowest levels in almost two years in March.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile items like food, increased marginally to 11.62 percent year-on-year in April from 11.59 percent in March, ending an eight-month streak of declining rates, according to central bank data.

Annual urban consumer price inflation meanwhile decreased, but marginally, to 13.1 percent year-on-year in April from 13.3 percent in March, the official statistics agency CAPMAS said, a smaller drop than in recent months.

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