CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's official statistics agency says the inflation rate has dropped to around 17 percent in January, down from 21.9 percent in December.

The figures were announced on Thursday by the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics.

Egypt's inflation rate peaked over last summer, hovering around 30 percent, after the government cut fuel and electricity subsidies.

The tough measures are part of broader economic reforms taken to meet demands by the International Monetary Fund for a $12 billion bailout loan.

The reforms, taken under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, have hit poor and middle-class Egyptians especially hard.

Egypt is targeting an inflation rate of around 13 percent in 2018.

The announcement comes ahead of Egypt's presidential elections in March in which el-Sissi is running for a second four-year term, with no serious contenders.