CAIRO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's annual urban consumer price inflation dropped from 21.9 percent in December 2017 to 17.1 percent in January 2018, the country's official statistics authority said Thursday.
The annual rural consumer price inflation marked a similar decline of 17 percent in January 2018 compared to the same period last year, according to the monthly report of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The country's annual inflation reached its highest in July 2017 to 35 percent due to fuel and energy subsidy cuts and relevant price hikes.
The inflation has gradually declined over the past few months until it reached 17.1 percent in January 2018 compared to the same month last year.
On Wednesday, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that foreign debts reached 80.8 billion U.S. dollars by the end of September 2017. The foreign debts totalled 79 billion dollars during the 2016-17 fiscal year ending in June 2017 compared to 55.8 billion dollars a year earlier.
Egypt's foreign currency reserves exceeded 38.2 billion dollars by the end of January, the highest since the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011 when it stood at 36 billion dollars.
Egypt has been facing economic recession over the past few years due to political turmoil and relevant security issues, which led to declining tourism and foreign investments amid growing budget deficit, inflation rate and foreign and domestic debts.
Egypt started in late 2016 a three-year reform program including subsidy cuts, tax hikes and full floatation of the local currency.
Although the Egyptian pound lost half of its value in the liberalization move, it gradually boosted the country's foreign currency reserves and partially contained dollar shortage.
Egypt's economic reform program is encouraged by a 12-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund, half of which has already been delivered to the most populous Arab and North African country.