The soaring price of food, which grew by 22 per cent on the previous year, was the main driver behind the increase. The price of bread rose by 31.9 per cent and the price of meat by 17.5 per cent.

In the month to April 2008, food and beverage prices rose by 1.6 per cent despite a drop in the price of several products. The price of rice fell by 8.4 per cent, the price of wheat flour declined by 6.5 per cent and the price of vegetable oil fell by 2.4 per cent.

Rampant inflation has been at the root of growing social unrest in the country.

To tackle the problem, President Hosni Mubarak announced a 30 per cent increase in public sector salaries. To secure the funds necessary for the salary hike, the government has decided to raise taxes, reduce fuel subsidies and increase cigarette prices and vehicle licensing fees (MEED 1:5:08).