According to the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), representing the evolution of goods and services’ prices consumed by households, revealed that Lebanon’s monthly inflation rate eased from a 224.39% in December 2021 to register softer levels of 121.99% in December 2022, the lowest since June 2021, however it remains at a historical elevated level.
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 52.88% by December 2022. Also, “Owner-occupied” rental costs increased by 9.99% year-on-year (YOY) and the prices of “water, electricity, gas, and other fuels” followed a significant increase by 148.42% YOY as subsidies were removed by the Central Bank and prices went up sharply on the global market due to the war in Ukraine. Nevertheless, prices are expected to surge further in the coming period as customs and taxes would be collected at the official rate of 15,000 LBP/USD instead of 1507.5 LBP/USD.
Looking at the prices of “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (20% of CPI), it surged by 142.94% yearly. In turn, the average prices of “Transportation” (13.1% of the CPI) and “Health” (7.7% of the CPI) recorded hikes of an annual 127.22% and 167.46% respectively by December 2022. Also, “Restaurant and Hotels” (2.8% of CPI) increased yearly by 149.56% by December 2022 as the hospitality sector had been authorized to adopt prices listed in dollars.
In the same token, costs of “Clothing and Footwear” (5.2% of CPI) surged by 131.39% by December 2022, and the prices of “Communication” (4.5% of the CPI) increased by 311.86%.
Finally, 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 102.47%, 123.15%, and 132.54%, respectively, by December 2022.
Inflation rate by December 2022
Source: CAS, BLOMINVEST