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Egypt's Inflation Tops 12 Percent

Egyptian street vendors display fruits for sale in the Bola'a neighborhood in Cairo, April 5, 2011

Soaring food prices, one of the triggers that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, helped push the country's annual inflation rate past 12 percent in April.

Egypt's statistical agency reported Tuesday that food and beverage costs, which account for nearly half of the country's consumer spending, increased by 21 percent last month compared to a year ago. That helped boost consumer prices to their highest point in a year.

Surging food prices were among a list of grievances Egyptians complained about in the past couple of years, leading to the widespread anti-government protests in January. Mubarak resigned in early February and is now being investigated on charges of illegally amassing wealth during his 30-year rule.

Egypt's economy has been buffeted by political uncertainty. Tourism has sharply dropped and the country's international reserves have diminished.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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