Egypt's annual inflation hits 32.9 pct, food prices up 44.3 pct

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-10 23:26:32|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's annual inflation rate rose to 32.9 percent in April while food prices increased by 44.3 percent compared to the same period last year, Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said in a monthly report released on Wednesday.

The country's annual inflation rate went on rising from 23.3 percent in December last year to 29.6 percent in this January, 31.7 percent in February and 32.5 percent in March.

The inflation and prices have been soaring as the country is implementing a strict three-year economic reform program involving austerity measures, energy subsidy cuts and local currency floatation.

The Egyptian reform program is supported by a 12-billion-U.S. dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, whose first batch of 2.75 billion dollars has been delivered in November 2016 and the second is expected in June 2017.

Egypt's foreign debt rose by 20.7 percent to reach 67.3 billion dollars by the end of 2016 according to a previous report from the Central Bank of Egypt released in early April.

As for domestic debt, it rose to 3.05 trillion Egyptian pounds (about 168.2 billion dollars) as of end of 2016, of which 85.1 percent is owed by the government, 7.1 percent by economic authorities and 7.8 percent by the National Investment Bank.

Egypt has been suffering an economic recession over the past few years due to political instability and relevant security issues that led to the decline of tourism, foreign currency reserves and foreign investment.

The country pins hope on its economic reform program and the recently approved investment law to attract more foreign investment and boost its economy, especially that the new law offers massive tax incentives to investors.