Egypt's Currency Cure by Stealth Triggers Shortages of Luxury Goods

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Egyptians are finding some consumer goods increasingly hard to come by, as attempts to buffer the currency ripple across the $400 billion economy that’s running short on dollars, Bloomberg News reported. Although basic commodities are freely available, shortages in more luxurious products -- ranging from summer clothes to imported cars -- are becoming common. Choices for customers have dwindled at fast fashion groups like Mango, Zara and H&M. When it comes to food imports, some brands of breakfast cereals, chips and beef hot dogs to varieties of pesto sauce and lasagna can go out of stock or prove difficult to find, shoppers contacted by Bloomberg said. It’s a distant rumbling of policies deployed six months ago, stiffening oversight of imports and as a result choking off demand for hard currency. As a cascade of side effect spreads across Egypt, the government has had to take other steps to shore up its finances and held talks with the International Monetary Fund on a new program. Read more.