Egypt inflation continues to rise amid Ukraine war

CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s annual inflation rate continues to rise amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine that has shaken the global economy, the country’s statistics agency said Tuesday.

Inflation rose 2.8% to about 14.9% in April, from 12.1% in March, according to the Central Bureau for Mobilization and Statistics.

Prices have risen in many sectors – from fuel, electricity and food to housing, medical services and entertainment. The increases are the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine, which shook global markets and spiked oil prices, endangering the food supply and livelihoods of people around the world.

Food and beverage prices rose 8.1% in April compared to March. Bread and cereal prices rose 3.6%, while housing, electricity and energy prices rose 1.1%, the data shows.

Higher inflation places a heavy burden on consumers, especially lower-income households, and especially on daily necessities. According to official figures, nearly 30% of Egyptians live in poverty.

Most of Egypt’s more than 103 million residents have suffered from price hikes since the government embarked on an ambitious reform program in 2016 to restore the country’s battered economy.

That program included painful austerity measures such as the marketing of the national currency and the elimination of subsidies for fuel, water and electricity.

A March decision of the Central Bank’s decisions to raise its key interest rate and devalue the local currency against the US dollar has added to the suffering of the people. The bank said its decision was intended to fight inflation.

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