January 27, 2017

Consumer Price Index increases three percent: Rent, energy, clothing drive growth

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose three percent in December 2016 to 98.93 from 95.92 in the previous year, according to the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS).

During this period, the price index of clothing and footwear registered the largest increase at 10.4 percent. According to Beirut Trade Association, the increase in this category was recorded in September, October, and December. Consumption revived during these months due to consumer confidence in the economy after electing a president. This proves the impact of psychological factors on the markets and consumption. According to CAS, prices of clothing and footwear rose 5.2 percent between September and October.

Actual rent prices rose 8.27 percent, whereby old rent rates rose 15.3 percent, and new rent rates increased 3.6 percent. According to Joseph Zoughaib, Chairman of Union of Leased Property Owners, this is due to the adoption of the new rental law, which imposes increases toward the fair lease price of an apartment.

Water, electricity, gas, and other fuels jumped 6.7 percent. Economist and statistician, Robert Kasparian, said that this is due to the international increase in oil prices last month after OPEC producers agreed on decreasing oil production.

The only prices that have dropped are health services (-0.9 percent), and communication (-0.09 percent). This is due to the decrease in the prices of some pharmaceuticals.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates inflation was around two percent in 2016. The Governor of the Central Bank said that inflation is near zero.

Reported by Rania Ghanem

Source:

http://www.businessnews.com.lb/cms/Story/StoryDetails.aspx?ItemID=5895

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