Lebanon Businessnews News
 

Annual inflation drops
in 2019 despite lira decline
Consumer price index

surges ten percent in January

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The average inflation rate for 2019 dropped to 2.9 percent from an average of six percent in 2018, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS).

During the last quarter of the year the average annual CPI rose by 4.7 percent, due to the decline in the exchange value of the lira. It has more than offset a negative growth in inflation of 0.7 percent in the second quarter and a slight increase of 0.3 percent in the third quarter.


Source: Central Administration of Statistics

All categories of goods and services that make up the CPI, except health, witnessed increases in their average annual prices in 2019 compared with 2018.

The average cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose four percent. This category has a weight of 20 percent in the calculation of the CPI.

The average prices of clothing and footwear, which have a weight of 5.2 percent, soared by 14 percent recording the highest increase among all categories.

The average cost of furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance increased 7.6 percent. This category has a weight of 3.8 percent.

The average cost of education, which has a weight of 6.6 percent, rose 4.8 percent compared with 2018.

The average cost of healthcare dropped 0.5 percent. This category has a weight of 7.7 percent.

Inflation was easing in 2019 compared with 2018 which had witnessed a surge in prices due to raising teachers’ salaries, continuing rises in global oil prices, and additional taxes including an increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT). The surge in CPI recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to the deterioration of the exchange value of the lira slowed the downtrend in inflation.

The CPI for December 2019 increased seven percent year-on-year as all categories of goods and services had witnessed surges in their prices. The inflationary trend worsened in January 2020, the CPI jumped ten percent compared with the same month of the previous year.

All categories of goods and services that make up the CPI, except health, witnessed annual increases in their prices in January 2020. The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages surged 14.5 percent year-on-year. The cost of transportation, which has a weight of 13 percent, soared 18.2 percent. The prices of clothing and footwear jumped 24.3 percent.

The CPI of January 2020 increased 2.1 percent compared with that of December 2019. The largest price increases were recorded in food and non-alcoholic beverages (6.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.3 percent).
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Mar 04, 2020