Beirut: Lebanon suffered another dramatic inflation surge in July as the country’s financial meltdown continued with no end in sight.
Consumer prices rose an annual 112.4%, compared with just under 90% in June, according to data released by the official Central Administration of Statistics on Wednesday. Inflation in July reached 11.42% from the previous month.
Price growth is soaring to levels last seen in the aftermath of the country’s civil war three decades ago after Lebanon’s currency depreciated sharply on the black market and made imports prohibitively more expensive. Politicians remain at loggerheads over solutions to the economic and financial crises even after a devastating blast in Beirut earlier this month.
A United Nations agency has estimated that more than half of the country’s population is now trapped in poverty and struggling to meet basic needs.
Lebanon’s peg to the dollar has increasingly withered after the government’s default on $30 billion of Eurobonds in March The local currency is now trading around 7,000 to the dollar, compared with a fixed official exchange rate of 1,507.5 that’s now effectively in place only for government-subsidized imports of wheat, fuel and medicine.