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 155.40% in February 2021 to register a record high of 214.59% in February 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 95.61% by February 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 372.30% YOY.
Looking at the prices of “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (20% of CPI), it surged by 396% 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 510.28%, 413.40% and 448.61%, respectively, by February 2022.
In the same token, costs of “Clothing and Footwear” (5.2% of CPI) surged by 183.92% by February 2022, and the prices of “Communication” (4.5% of the CPI) increased by 22.10%.
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 214.84%, 251.76%, and 160.32%, respectively, by February 2022.
The 2021 inflation surge in Lebanon has been attributed to the sharp devaluation of the national currency in addition to the global supply chain crisis caused by the pandemic. However, absence of reform policies to mutate the situation as well as unexpected high energy costs due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine will have a substantial impact on the socio-economic activity and expected inflation in 2022, making the latter depend on geopolitics developments corrective measures by the Government.
Inflation rate by February
Source: CAS, BLOMINVEST