The figure is the highest it has been in 16 years and compares to 22 per cent for the year to July. Food prices in August were up by 30.9 per cent on the previous year.

Prices in the country as a whole have risen by 25.6 per cent in the year to July. Overall inflation increased by 2.7 per cent between July and August 2008.

The Central Bank of Egypt is expected to raise interest rates for the sixth time this year when its Monetary Policy Committee meets on 18 September.