Inflation falls to 12.8% in February

Egypt’s national inflation rate fell from 13.6 percent in January to 12.8 percent in February, according to a report released Wednesday by the government-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). This figure is expected to rise again, however, due to recent shortages of diesel fuel on the local market.

Economy analyst Riham el-Dessouqi predicted that the inflation rate would settle at 10 percent by the  end of the current year. "But the diesel crisis can be expected to increase transportation costs, which will certainly affect the inflation rate," she explained.

Other experts said the unfolding global financial crisis had led inflation rates to fall to as little as 5 percent in some countries, rendering the current Egyptian rate quite high by comparison.

"We need to increase production if we want to bring inflation down," said Sultan Abu Ali, a former economy minister. "And to increase production, we need proper financial and monetary policies."

Salah Abdel Aziz of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce pointed out that local purchasing power had receded in tandem with rising inflation. "Most people these days are limited to buying only basic necessities," he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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