According to the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), average consumer prices dropped by 1.71% y-o-y by September 2016 as reflected by the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) which decreased from 97.23 points during the first three quarters of 2015 to an average of 95.57 points in the same period of 2016.
In details, average prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages (20.6% of CPI) fell 1.40% y-o-y by September 2016. Moreover, as oil prices are still decreasing, transportation (13.1% of CPI) and water, electricity, gas & other fuels (11.9% of CPI) registered average yearly decreases of 5.40% and 11.44%, respectively. Also, health (7.8% of CPI) and communication (4.6% of CPI) recorded respective average falls of 2.40% and 0.27% y-o-y.
However, the education sub-index, which grasps 5.9% of the CPI, rose by 1.49% y-o-y on average by Q3 2016. Moreover, as tourism activity started to recover during the first three quarters of 2016, average restaurants & hotels prices (2.6% of CPI) increased by 2.58% y-o-y by September 2016. The actual rent sub-index for households (old and new rent), with a weight of 3.4% of the CPI, grew by an average of 3.23%.
Regionally, all of Lebanon’s regions witnessed month-on-month rises in CPI. This increase in overall prices can be attributed to the 7.85% higher oil prices between the months of August and September, which positively impacted the “transportation” and “housing water, electricity, gas and other fuels” categories of the index. As such, Beirut’s overall prices witnessed a rise of 2.15%, followed by Bekaa, which gained 1.75%. Also, Nabatieh, South of Lebanon and Mount Lebanon observed inclines in their monthly CPI’s with respective increases of 1.17%, 1.52%, and 1.36%.
Monthly Changes in Inflation Levels in Lebanon (Y-o-Y)