Egypt's state news agency says the central bank has devalued the pound to 8.85 pounds per U.S. dollar from a previous 7.73, a move taken amid a crippling dollar shortage.

Economists have said that Monday's devaluation was necessary to spare the treasury from spending desperately needed foreign currency to prop up the Egyptian pound.

Many Egyptians are worried however that a devaluation would cause a surge in prices. Egypt's economy has yet to recover from years of turmoil since the 2011 ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.