Egypt’s headline inflation rises to 5.9%

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reveals that Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation rate increased to 5.9% in April from 5.1% in March. This is higher than analysts had expected on the back of rising food prices.

North Africa’s most populous country witnessed unplanned panic buying as seen in some European states. As the coronavirus pandemic spread, demand surged in April before the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“Month-on-month inflation speeds up to 1.3% in April compared with 0.6% in March”, CAPMAS shares.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile goods such as food, also accelerated to 2.54% year-on-year in April, from 1.89% in March, according to the central bank .

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Egypt is facing tough economic effects from the spread of the new coronavirus, which essentially halted its vital tourism sector from mid-March. The country also has imposed a nightly curfew, closing schools and universities and shut restaurants and cafes to slow the spread of the disease.

The country had sought IMF financial support last month to help it deal with the pandemic’s economic impact and is seeking a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) loan as well as emergency financing under a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) loan.

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