Egypt’s February Inflation Soars: Economic Pressure Intensifies

Egypt's inflation skyrockets in February to 35.7%, pre-currency float. Cash-strapped citizens battle soaring prices, CBE predicts rate hike. Economic uncertainty looms.

Egypt’s inflation rate unexpectedly accelerated in February, marking a significant surge even before the highly anticipated currency flotation. The annual urban consumer price inflation soared to 35.7% in February from 29.8% in January, driven mainly by rising food and beverage prices. This sharp increase suggests that Egypt’s economy continues to be under pressure, as cash-strapped citizens face soaring prices for essential goods and services. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) reported a record annual headline inflation of 36%, indicating mounting economic challenges for the country.

Sharp Acceleration in Inflation Rate

The inflation rate in Egypt witnessed a notable upswing in February, surpassing expectations and pointing towards an increasingly challenging economic landscape. Driven primarily by the significant rise in food and beverage prices, the annual urban consumer price inflation reached a record high of 35.7%. This sharp acceleration highlights the financial struggles faced by the country’s citizens, as they grapple with soaring costs for essential commodities, exacerbating their economic burdens.

According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Egypt’s annual inflation rate in February reached a new high, signaling expanding economic pressures on citizens.

The unexpected surge in inflation comes ahead of the highly anticipated flotation of Egypt’s currency. Despite hopes that this move could stabilize the economy, experts predict that inflationary pressures are likely to persist. JPMorgan forecasts that the Central Bank of Egypt could raise its key interest rate by 200 basis points later this month, aiming to curb rising inflation.

Concerns over Inflation and Economic Stability

The unexpected acceleration in Egypt’s inflation rate raises concerns about the country’s economic stability. With inflation reaching a record level of 2194 points in February, representing an annual rate of 36%, the impact on consumers’ purchasing power and living standards is evident.

Moreover, the monthly core inflation rate, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, has also risen significantly. In February, it stood at 35.1%, indicating that inflationary pressures extend beyond the food and beverage sector.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s efforts to stabilize the economy following the currency flotation may require additional measures, such as interest rate hikes, to combat the surging inflation rates.

The rise in prices has a profound impact on citizens, especially those already facing financial constraints. As food and commodity prices continue to rise, the cost of living becomes increasingly burdensome, potentially leading to social and economic instability within the country.

Expected Short-Term Relief

A Reuters poll suggests that Egypt’s inflation rate is expected to decrease in the coming months. The favorable base effect, along with potential measures to mitigate inflationary pressures, may provide some short-term relief. However, the underlying economic challenges remain significant, and sustained efforts will be required to address the root causes of inflation and stabilize the economy in the long term.


  • Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation unexpectedly surged to 35.7% in February, driven by rising food and beverage prices.
  • The sharp acceleration in inflation highlights the economic challenges faced by cash-strapped Egyptians.
  • The unexpected surge comes before the highly anticipated currency flotation.
  • JPMorgan forecasts a possible 200 basis point interest rate hike by the Central Bank of Egypt to combat inflation.
  • The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics reports that Egypt’s annual inflation rate reached a new high.
  • The rise in inflation raises concerns about economic stability and citizens’ living standards.
  • Short-term relief is expected due to favorable base effects, but long-term solutions are needed to address underlying economic challenges.

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