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Syria: Inflation hits 68% in May

The Syrian central bureau of statistics website showed that inflation had risen by 68% in May

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Sep 2013
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Syrian annual inflation rate hit 68% in May 2013 while prices continue to rise; announced the Syrian central bureau of statistics website on Wednesday.

The bureau attributed the rise in inflation rate to the significant increase in basic food prices; specifically bread, cereals, milk, cheese, oil, fruit and non-alcoholic drinks.

Syria is currently suffering from a raging civil war that followed the 2011 popular uprising. The conflict has left above 100, 000 dead and 4 million Syrians in need for food aid; according to the United Nations.

Last July, the united nations food aid agency found that Syrians are now spending 50 percent more on food than they did a year earlier; reported Reuters on Friday.

Furthermore, the latest harvest season left Syria with fewer than half the pre-war norm suggesting a need to import 2 million tonnes of wheat in the coming year; according to Reuters estimates.

Importing; however, would strain an economy that is already crippled by international sanctions; falling currency value and decaying hard currency reserves.

The Syrian pound traded at 46 to the dollar before the war but fell to 126 to the dollar last March while foreign reserves dropped to $4 billion in the same month from the pre-war value of $18 billion; reported Reuters last April.

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