According to the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), consumer prices in Lebanon went up by 5.7% in the first five months of 2018 since the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose from 99.32 by May 2017 to 105 by May this year. In reality, consumer prices went up across all sub-categories, which is most likely linked to the recent hike in taxes that went into effect in January 2018, with the most prominent one being the rise in the Value Added Tax (VAT).
In details, the basket of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which holds a share of 20.6% of the CPI, saw its average prices grow by a yearly 4.2% over the period. The recovering oil prices were mostly responsible for the rise in both “Housing and other Utilities” sub-category (28.4% of the CPI) and the transportation sub-category (13.1% of the CPI) as they respectively increased by 5.6% and 6.8% y-o-y.
Average prices of Health (7.7% of the CPI) and Education (6.6% of the CPI) sub-indices also added respective 6.8% and 4.0% y-o-y over the first five months of 2018.
However, the higher increases over the period were recorded in the average prices of “clothing and footwear” and “Recreation, amusement, and culture” that surged by yearly levels of 16.3% and 7.3%, respectively.
Average Yearly Inflation by May