Egypt raises price of gasoline in latest hike amid inflation

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt raised the price of some types of gasoline Thursday, the latest hike to beset the cash-strapped North African country amid soaring inflation.

The country’s petroleum ministry said in a statement it was raising the price of three octanes of gasoline from between 0.75 to 1 Egyptian pound per liter (around 2.3 to 3.3 U.S. cents). The price hike was introduced Thursday morning, it said.

The raise will likely push up the prices of other goods and services across Egypt. However, the price of diesel, the most commonly used fuel for transporting people and goods in Egypt, is unaffected.

The country has been beset by enduring price hikes over recent months, with annual inflation standing at 26.5% in January, the highest in five years, according to official figures. Food prices in some urban areas soared to around 48%, that month.

Egypt’s economy has been hit hard by years of government austerity, the coronavirus pandemic and the fallout from the war in Ukraine. The country is the world’s largest wheat importer, with most of its imports having traditionally come from eastern Europe.

To curb its economic turmoil, Egypt received a $3 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund last December. In return, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government committed to various IMF-guided economic reforms, including a free-floating exchange rate and a reduction in fuel subsidies.

The deal allows for a further $14 billion in possible financing for Egypt.

The rise in fuel costs are likely to exacerbate economic pressures on Egypt’s lower-income households, most of which have long been reliant on government subsidies for basic goods, such as fuel and bread. Nearly 30% of Egyptians live in poverty, according to official figures.

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