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Egypt's inflation rate continues to surge amid Ukraine war

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s annual inflation rate continues to surge amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine that has shaken the global economy, the country’s statistics bureau announced Tuesday.

The inflation rate was up 2.8%, reaching around 14.9% in April, up from 12.1% in March, the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics said.

Prices have increased in many sectors — from fuel, electricity and food items to housing, medical services and entertainment. The hikes are driven by Russia's war on Ukraine, which rattled world markets and caused oil prices to soar, threatening food supplies and livelihoods of people across the world.

Food and beverage prices increased by 8.1% in April, compared to March. Prices of bread and grains increased by 3.6%, while housing, electricity and energy prices increased by 1.1% , the data showed.

The higher inflation has inflicted heavy burdens on consumers, especially lower-income households, and particularly for everyday necessities. Nearly 30% of Egyptians live in poverty, according to official figures.

Most of Egypt’s more than 103 million population have suffered from price hikes since the government embarked on an ambitious reform program in 2016 to overhaul the country’s battered economy.

That program included painful austerity measures like flotation of the national currency and slashing subsidies of fuel, water and electricity.

A March decision by the Central Bank’s decisions to raise its main interest rate and to devalue the local currency against the U.S. dollar has added to people’s sufferings. The bank said its decision was meant to fight inflation.

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