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Egypt Inflation Rate Declines to Lowest Level Since 2010

Egypt’s inflation rate fell in September to the lowest level in at least two years as the economy struggles to rebound from the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak last year.

Inflation in urban areas, the gauge monitored by the central bank, slowed to 6.2 percent from 6.5 percent in August, the official statistics agency said. It was the lowest inflation rate since Aug. 2010 when Bloomberg started to track the current series. Consumer prices rose 1.2 percent from the previous month.

“This confirms that the level of private spending is reduced, and is outweighing the impact of higher oil prices.” Mona Mansour, co-head of research at Cairo-based investment bank CI Capital Holding, said by phone.

The inflation rate was less than CI Capital’s 6.7 percent forecast.

Clothing and footwear prices rose 2.9 percent from the year-ago month. Housing and utility prices rose 2.7 percent, that’s less than half August’s 6.7 percent. Food and beverage prices, the biggest component of the consumer price index, increased 9.3 percent from a year earlier after gaining 8.2 percent in August.

Oil prices have gained 10 percent this year. The U.S. benchmark oil, West Texas Intermediate, slipped 36 cents to $92.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile at 8:21 a.m. in London.

Economic growth in Egypt fell to 1.8 percent in 2011, a 19-year low, and a median estimate of 13 analysts compiled by Bloomberg shows gross domestic product is expected to expand 2 percent this year. International reserves have fallen to $15 billion, or more than 50 percent below their levels in the month before the start of the January 2011 uprising.

Egypt is facing the Middle East’s widest budget deficit, and officials have said they are seeking to secure a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan this year.

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