Egypt inflation, at five-year high, seen quickening in December: Reuters poll

Egypt’s headline inflation is expected to accelerate further after reaching a five-year high in November, a Reuters poll showed on Monday, as an October currency devaluation continues to reverberate through the economy.

The median forecast of 15 analysts showed annual inflation at 20.50% in December, up from 18.7% in November, which was the highest since December 2017.

“This is primarily due to pass-through effects from the pound’s depreciation at the end of October, as well as a further weakening of the currency in the parallel market through December,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

The central bank allowed the Egyptian pound to depreciate by about 14.5% on Oct. 27 and let its value continue weakening slowly and incrementally in November and December.

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Five analysts also forecast that core inflation would climb to 23.6% from 21.5% in November.

The steady increase in inflation would put pressure on the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to raise interest rates when it next meets on Feb. 2.

The state statistics agency CAPMAS will release December inflation data on Tuesday morning.

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