Cairo, Aug. 10 (BNA): Egypt’s annual inflation rate reached a record high in July, as price hikes continue unabated in the cash-strapped North African country, official figures said Thursday.
Consumer prices rose 38.2% from a year earlier, up from 36.8% in June, according to data released by the state-run Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics, Reuters reported.
Average food and beverage prices, the main drivers of inflation, increased 68.2% over the past 12 months, the agency’s data showed.
Egyptians, particularly working-class households, are struggling to keep up with the rising prices, which have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer, with most of its supplies traditionally coming from Eastern Europe. But Russia pulled out of a wartime agreement in July that allowed Ukraine to ship its grain to the world.
Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries have diversified their sources of wheat, the main ingredient for a flatbread that is a staple of diets, and doesn’t expect shortages. But the end of the grain deal has helped push up prices for global food commodities like wheat, vegetable oil and rice, also tied to trade restrictions on rice from India.
Over the past year, Egypt’s central bank has tried to target inflation by hiking its main interest rates. Last week, the bank’s most basic rate of lending, the overnight deposit rate, increased from 18.25% to 19.75%.
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