Annual urban consumer price inflation in Egypt has soared to its highest level in more than three decades, hitting 30.2 percent in February. This is the 4th consecutive jump since the central bank abandoned its currency peg to the U.S. dollar in early November. Since then, the Egyptian pound has depreciated by roughly half. Economists say rising inflation will erode spending power, choke off economic growth and prompt further interest rates hikes. Benchmark rates in the North African state are already at 15.75%. Egypt's central bank has held interest rates steady since November's float, but some analysts predict further hikes this year. The central bank's rate setting committee meets next, on the 30th of March.