Egypt’s inflation rises to 11% amid food price hikes

Egypt's inflation notched up slightly to 11 percent in September, the government said Sunday, amid complaints about rising food prices.

Urban inflation was up 0.1 percentage point from 10.9 percent the previous month, according to data from the official Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. Annual change in consumer prices, meanwhile, increased 0.2 percentage points to 11.7 percent compared to August figures.

Economic Development Minister Osman Mohammed Osman said the gains came amid increase in poultry, vegetable and fruit prices, which climbed due to "seasonal and temporary reasons," the official Middle East News Agency reported. Osman did not elaborate.

Rising food prices sparked protests over the summer, and Russia's ban on grain exports, because of a supply crunch there, have contributed to further increases in key staples on which Egyptians rely. The country is the world's largest wheat importer.

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif last month said officials expected the economy to grow by about 6 percent in the fiscal year ending June 2011.

Egypt's gross domestic product grew by about 5.3 percent in the last fiscal year. The economy had grown by an average of 7 percent for three years before the global financial meltdown in 2008 battered trade and squeezed growth.

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