According to the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which gives an overview about the evolution of goods and services’ prices consumed by households, revealed that Lebanon’s monthly inflation rate jumped from 147.55% in January 2021 to register a record high of 239.68% in January 2022.
In details, the cost of “Housing and utilities”, inclusive of water, electricity, gas and other fuels (grasping 28.4% of the CPI) added a yearly 104.15% by January 2022, where “Owner-occupied” rental costs increased by 3.94% year-on-year (YOY) while the average prices of “water, electricity, gas, and other fuels” soared by 104.15% YOY.
Looking at the prices of “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (20% of CPI), it surged by 483.15% yearly. In turn, the average prices of “Transportation” (13.1% of the CPI), “Health” (7.7% of the CPI) and “Restaurant and Hotels” (2.8% of CPI) all recorded hikes of an annual 541.42%, 444.83% and 449.66%, respectively, by January 2022.
In the same token, costs of “Clothing and Footwear” (5.2% of CPI) surged by 225.56% by January 2022, and the prices of “Communication” (4.5% of the CPI) increased by 35.38%.
Worth mentioning, prices of “Furnishings and household equipment” (3.8% of CPI), “Alcoholic beverages and tobacco” (1.4% of CPI), and “Recreation, amusement, and culture” (2.4% of the CPI) increased by 260.29%, 335.59%, and 152.20%, respectively, by January 2022.
More than 70% of the Lebanese people are now under the poverty line, while the majority of them are unable to secure basic needs. The High inflation rate is mainly linked to the huge depreciation of the national currency (It increased from LBP/USD 8,800 in January 2021, to LBP/USD 20,400 in January 2022) combined by the worldwide inflation due to several economic and political factors. Adding to that, the Russian-Ukrainian’s war will increase internationally the energy prices, which will erode further the Lebanese purchasing power.
Inflation rate by January