World Economy

Egypt Trade Deficit Decreases to $2.45b

Egypt Trade Deficit Decreases to $2.45bEgypt Trade Deficit Decreases to $2.45b

Egypt’s trade deficit narrowed to 19.45 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.45b) in January, from 24.53 billion pounds a year earlier, the state’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said on Sunday.

The decline in the trade deficit is due to a 21.2 percent decrease in imports’ value, to stand at 31.47 billion pounds this year, as opposed to 39.97 billion pounds in 2014, CAPMAS said in a statement reported by the state news agency MENA. The drop in imported goods’ prices involved petroleum products, steel, wheat and wood.

CAPMAS also reported a 22.1 percent drop in exports’ value, standing at 12.03 billion pounds in January, while it was 15.44 a year earlier. Fertilizers, petroleum products, crude oil and clothes were among the main products to suffer drop in exports.

Egypt’s annual inflation rate stepped up to 11.8 percent in March, rising by 1.1 percent from last month’s rate, CAPMAS said on Thursday.

Inflation increased last summer after the government reduced petroleum subsidies and introduced new taxes in July 2014, hiking fuel prices by up to 78 percent.

Meanwhile, consumer inflation continued to increase in March, edging up 1.5 percentage points to 11.5 percent as food costs rose because of a falling currency.

The price of food jumped 2.4 percentage points against the previous month despite the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index showing world food prices at a five-year low.