Egypt’s annual urban inflation rose to 5.9% during December 2021, compared to 5.6% in November 2021, while the monthly rate was 0.1% in December, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The agency explained, in its monthly report on inflation, issued Monday, that the consumer price index (CPI) for the country amounted to 117.8 points in December 2021, recording a decrease of 0.2% from November.
The agency attributed this decline to the lower prices of vegetables by 8.2%, fish and seafood by 1.4%, and meat and poultry by 1.2%.
Other products’ prices increased, however, including cereals and bread by 0.9%; fruit 0.9%, oils and fats 0.6%, garments 0.7%; electricity, gas, and other fuels 1.4%; rent 0.2%; outpatient services 0.8%; ready meals 0.5%; and personal care products by 0.8%.
According to the agency, the annual inflation rate for the country increased by 6.5% in December 2021, compared to 6.2% in November 2021, and 6% in December 2020.
Moreover, monthly core inflation, computed by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), recorded 0.2% in December 2021, compared to 0% in December 2020, and 0.5% in November 2021. Accordingly, the annual core inflation recorded 6% in December 2021, compared to 5.8% in November 2021.
Mohamed Abdel Aal, a banking expert, said that this limited rise in inflation confirmed that Egypt was not badly affected by imported inflation, as most countries of the world suffer from significant increases in the prices of their commodities.
He pointed out that the transmission of the imported inflationary wave to Egypt would take some time due to the import and shipping cycle – not less than three months on average – so the expected impact of imported inflation on Egypt will be modest.
This year, the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBE will hold eight periodic meetings to discuss the fate of its basic interest rates, which are the most important indicator of the direction of the Egyptian pound’s interest in the local market.
The Central Bank set the dates for those meetings on 3 February, 24 March, 19 May, 23 June, 18 August, 22 September, 3 November, and 22 December.
The committee decided, during its last meeting in 2021, which was held on 16 December, to fix the basic interest rates with the Central Bank for the ninth time in a row at 8.25% for deposit; 9.25% for lending; and 8.75% for the credit and discount rates, and the price of the main operation.
The committee said that the current basic rates were consistent with the target inflation rate of 7% (±2) on average during the fourth quarter of 2022 and price stability in the medium term.