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Sunday, 17 December 2017

How “austerity” has impacted middle class spending

The spending habits of the middle class have changed significantly as they try to cope with high inflation and a weaker currency, write Patrick Markey and Nadine Awadalla for Reuters. Consumers are swapping new cars for cheaper models, cutting back on pricy supermarket shopping and giving up holidays abroad. This has been reflected in car sales figures, the weakness in some consumer stocks, and in outbound tourism. While both writers are framing the trend as a major hurdle for President Abdel Fattah El Sisi when he seeks reelection next year, they turned to our friend CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz Al Arab for some sensible analysis: “For the middle and upper class, it is a matter of time before income and productivity start to catch up to pre-reform levels,” he had said in a previous interview with CNBC.

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