Up or down?

Lebanon inflation statistics appear different depending on who you ask

by Executive Staff

According to the Consultation and Research Institute (CRI), a private consulting firm, February saw real prices in Lebanon deflate. Throughout the month, the consumer price index (CPI), the premier indicator of inflation, fell 0.26 percent relative to January. However, according to the Central Administration for Statistics (CAS), Lebanon’s official body for the collection of economic data, the CPI in February 2010 rose 0.5 percent relative to January, carried by increases in the price of transportation (14.6 percent), housing (6.1 percent) as well as water, electricity, gas and “other fuels” at 5.5 percent. Yearly inflation also differed widely between the two organizations with CRI estimating that year-on-year prices in February showed an increase of 6.08 percent with a 12-month CPI moving average of 3.17 percent, while the CAS recorded a CPI rise of only 2.9 percent. According to Byblos Bank, 70 percent of Lebanon’s inflation is caused by the increased price of imports.

The CAS says rising  fuels prices, in part, drove the CPI up in February

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