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Egypt hikes fuel prices amid global inflationary pressures

CAIRO (AP) – The Egyptian government increased fuel prices by nearly three per cent yesterday, as global inflationary pressures spike in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The move is expected to exacerbate economic pressures on the country’s ailing middle class, which has been hit hard in recent years by austerity measures dictated by the government’s ambitious economic restructuring programme.

The new prices were announced on the Cabinet’s Facebook page and came into effect yesterday morning. The price of 95 octane gasoline increased to EGP9.75 (USD0.53) per litre from EGP9.5. Meanwhile, the cost of 92 octane rose to 8.75 from 8.5, and 80 octane rose to 7.5 from 7.25.

The government left unchanged the prices of diesel, which is the main fuel used to transport goods and commuters.

Fuel prices hikes are expected to reflect inflation rates, which already jumped from 10 per cent in February to 12 per cent in March, according to the state-run statistics bureau.

Last month, Egypt’s Central Bank raised its key interest rate for the first time since 2017 to contain soaring inflation. The move saw the Egyptian pound slip, trading at over 18 to the dollar up from an average of EGP15.6 for USD1.

The war in Ukraine has shaken the global economy and threatened food supplies and the livelihoods of people across the world. Last month, Brent crude oil hit a record high of USD140 per barrel before lately coming down to nearly USD112.