Consumer prices increased by 0.6 per cent between May and June, marking the lowest monthly rise this year.

Rising inflation has led Cairo to cut customs duties on poultry imports, increase food subsidies and widen the reach of subsidies to include an additional 18 million people.

The government has also introduced a moratorium on cement and rice exports. The total value of subsidies, grants and social benefits budgeted for 2008-09 is £E134bn ($25.2bn).

CAPMAS also reported that unemployment in the first quarter fell slightly to 9.04 per cent, compared with 9.06 per cent over the same period the previous year.