BEIRUT

Local

Consumer prices rise over 11 percent

The CPI gained 1.5 percent from the month before.

BEIRUT: Inflation in Lebanon continued to surge in the first 10 months of 2012, according to the Consumer Price Index Wednesday.

“Between October 2011 and October 2012 the level of inflation in prices saw an increase of 11.1 percent. In October the CPI gained 1.5 percent from the month before,” the report said.

Education costs increased the most in October, gaining over 14.5 percent in one month. Foodstuff and beverages rose 1.2 percent in October. Entertainment costs increased 4.3 percent while restaurants and hotel prices increased marginally by 0.3.

Fuel, electricity and water fell 0.1 percent, the report showed. Transportation costs fell 1.3 percent, it added.

Passing a draft law that introduces higher wage levels for public sector employees would push inflation levels above 10 percent and increase tuition fees by 30 percent, the Economic Committees, a leading private sector association, has repeatedly warned

A national survey conducted by the Finance Ministry showed that over half of Lebanese households cannot afford to save money while over 63 percent face difficulties in providing for foodstuff and necessities.

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh estimated inflation to range between 4 and 5 percent but warned that this figure could jump by 2-3 percent if the government raised taxes to finance the salary scale.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 22, 2012, on page 5.

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