Lebanon’s inflation hits 260 per cent
Inflation in Lebanon, a country in the Middle East, hit an annual rate of 260 per cent in May, which has impacted the purchasing power of people.
This comes as a political row over the election of a president continues in the country. Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis.
Lebanon’s currency continued to lose value on the market. The currency was devalued by 90 per cent at the start of February 2023.
According to the Central Administration of Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, Lebanon has witnessed an increase in the cost of living, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco costs.
The CPI (Consumer Price Index) in Lebanon increased by about 5.4 per cent from April 2023. Recently, the inflation rate for food and nonalcoholic beverages surpassed 350 per cent. In March this year, the inflation rate increased by 264 per cent over the year. The Lebanese central bank devalued the Lebanese pound in February.
Lebanon is mired in an economic crisis described by the World Bank as one of the worst in modern history. The country also needed to implement critical structural and financial reforms required to unlock $3 billion in IMF (International Monetary Fund) assistance, as well as billions in aid from other international donors.
In February this year, the Association of Banks in Lebanon began their strike to protest against the court ruling that forced one of the largest and oldest banks in the country to pay depositors their trapped foreign savings in cash.
The economic crisis in the country has left more than three-quarters of Lebanon’s population in intense poverty. The Beirut port explosion in August 2020, which caused at least 218 deaths and 7,000 injuries, further increased poverty in the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic also increased poverty in the country. Earlier this year, the United Nations said that 2 million people faced intense food insecurity in Lebanon.