EGYPT: Inflation rates hit lowest figures in 15 months
Consumer inflation in Egypt has fallen to its lowest rate in 15 months, to 10.2% in November, compared to 11.7% the previous month, the state's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics announced this week.
The decrease has given the Egyptian Central Bank room to keep its benchmark interest rates unchanged in December to support economic growth. The food and beverage index shrunk 2.24% compared to a decline of 0.16% last month, leading to a decrease in the annual food price inflation to 17.1% year-over-year in November from 19.9% in October.
Egypt's economy has expanded 5.6% in the third quarter of the current fiscal year after the 5.4% increase achieved during the previous three months. Economists predict that the most populous Arab country will reach a 5.5% GDP growth in the fiscal year 2010/2011.
Nonetheless, such growth is still below the 7% achieved during the three fiscal years through June 2008, which was halted by the global financial turmoil that affected revenue from the Suez Canal, tourism and foreign direct investment.
-- Amro Hassan in Cairo
Photo: A woman shopping for vegetables in Cairo. Credit: Reuters