Down­side to cur­rency move

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL -

EGYPT’S ur­ban con­sumer prices rose the fastest in at least six years last month, fu­elled in part by a 28.3 per­cent rise in food costs af­ter the cen­tral bank’s de­ci­sion to aban­don cur­rency con­trols two months ago.

An­nual ur­ban in­fla­tion ac­cel­er­ated to 23.3 per­cent, the state-run sta­tis­tics agency, Capmas said in an an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day.

The gov­ern­ment said the Novem­ber 3 de­ci­sion to free the ex­change rate was im­per­a­tive to re­vive the coun­try’s econ­omy, but it has cre­ated new hard­ships for the coun­try’s 92 mil­lion peo­ple, about half of whom live near or be­low the poverty line. – Bloomberg

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