Sisi promises drop in basic commodity prices by end of November

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promised Sunday a drop in the price of basic commodities by the end of November.

Sisi made the comments in an educational seminar for the Armed Forces where he addressed the economic and security issues facing Egypt.

He said that “the armed forces and the state” will work on providing goods at lower prices.

Sisi attributed the hike in prices to the dollar crunch and the depreciation of the Egyptian pound against the dollar.

Since January, the Egyptian pound lost 79 piasters against the dollar, taking the currency’s decline to the year to 11 percent, officially selling for 7.93 per dollar.

The pound is projected to change hands at between 8.20 and 8.25 to the dollar by the end of 2015, according to economic and investment analysts.

Sisi’s comments come as Egypt’s urban consumer inflation jumped to 9.2 percent in September from 7.9 percent in a record low in August.

According to an October research paper by EFG Hermes, food prices have surged in September to reach the biggest monthly increase in five years.

The hike in prices was due to the increase in vegetable prices which saw a rise by 26.4 percent in September and August, said Hermes.

The report further explained that the rise in prices is due to the removal of subsidies on energy which impacted the transportation costs and food commodity prices.

The Egyptian government has projected an inflation rate between 10-11 percent in the fiscal year 2015/2016, forecasting a drop to 7-8 percent by 2018/2019.

Egypt’s economy has been struggling amid political upheaval and instability over the past five years, which saw the toppling of two presidents and the appointment and reshuffling of seven cabinets.

Source: Aswat Masriya