Egypt’s consumer price index for urban consumers (CPI-U) rose to 3.8% in September, compared to 3.4% in August 2020, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said on Saturday.
The agency added, in its monthly inflation report, that the whole country’s CPI recorded 107.5 points for September, maintaining its level of August 2020.
CAPMAS said that the fruit prices decreased by 7.6%; meat and poultry by 1.5%; fish and seafood by 0.4%; dairy, cheese, and eggs by 0.1%; and clothing and shoes by 0.1%.
However, the prices of other goods increased, including vegetables by 1.7%; cereals and bread by 1.7%; house rents by 0.9%; goods and services used in home maintenance by 0.6%; medical devices and equipment by 0.7%; private transportation by 8.1%; newspapers, books, and stationery by 1.8%; and personal care products by 0.6%.
According to CAPMAS, the annual headline inflation declined to 3.3% in September 2020, compared to 3.6% in August 2020, and 4.3% in September 2019.
Radwa El-Swaify, Head of Research at Pharos Holding, said that the current inflation figures are lower than the norm for the pre-school season. She said that Egypt normally sees a monthly increase in the range of 1% during this period, noting that this inflation level is the result of the low fruit and vegetable prices.
“The inflation figures were lower than expectations, and well below the target range of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE),” she said.
The CBE aims to bring Egypt’s inflation rates to 9% (±3) in the fourth quarter (Q4) of this year.
At its last meeting on 24 September, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the CBE decided to reduce the basic interest rates by 50 basis points to 8.75% for deposits, 9.75% for lending, and 9.25% for the credit and discount rate and the main transaction.
The MPC based its decision on the decreased annual urban inflation to 3.4% in August 2020 compared to 4.2% in July, noting that this level is the second lowest rate, after October 2019, in nearly 14 years.