Annual inflation down to 9 percent in March

Despite widespread anecdotal reports of price hikes due to the devaluation of the pound in mid-March, the Central Bank of Egypt announced annual consumer price inflation declined to 9.02 in March.

This puts Egypt’s inflation in single digits for the second month in a row, and marks the fourth consecutive month of declines, following an annual rate of 11.06 in December 2015, 10.1 percent in January and 9.13 percent in February.

The Bank attributes the decrease in the annual rate to positive base effects from last year. Annual inflation in March 2015 measured 11.5 percent, the second highest rate that year.

Meanwhile, the monthly rate accelerated to 1.44 percent, compared to an increase of 0.97 percent in February. 

Core inflation — which leaves out volatile commodities like fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as items with prices regulated by the government — increased to 8.41 percent in March, compared to 7.5 percent the month before. Monthly core inflation increased by 0.88 percent, decelerating from the February rate of 1.62 percent. 

Central Bank statistics show that prices for fruits and vegetables increased by 1.71 percent in March, accelerating from 1.1 percent in February. The annual rate of inflation for fruits and vegetables hit 25.44 percent, which represented a decrease from the 30.35 percent recorded in February.