In recent years, our markets have experienced an unprecedented and erratic surge, fluctuating significantly between morning and evening. Consequently, our economy has witnessed an unprecedented inflation rate, reaching 200% in the year 2020 and estimated to soar to 800% in the last quarter of this year, marking the highest level since 2011.
This surge in inflation has resulted in diminished purchasing power, a surge in poverty, increased unemployment, and a rise in immigration. Moreover, production has suffered due to elevated production costs and the reluctance of many to engage in various forms of work.
Consequently, many individuals have been compelled to reduce their consumption, resort to humanitarian aid leading to heightened unemployment, or seek illicit sources of income. Unfortunately, citizens have lost faith in the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection’s ability to control the pricing mechanism. Without further evidence, people easily recall instances from their recent memory.
Economist and university professor Ibrahim Koshji emphasized that the lack of price control and services over the past year has significantly impacted citizens’ lives, hindering their ability to meet basic needs. Reflecting on the inflation rates from 2011 to 2023, Koshji highlighted the drastic increase from 200% in 2022 to the current 800%, a level not seen since the start of the war on Syria.
The exchange rate has plummeted from 47 Syrian pounds twelve years ago to 12,600 Syrian pounds today, contributing to a sustained and alarming surge in prices and service fees. This has resulted in a weakened purchasing power and the inefficacy of both public and private sectors, which now heavily rely on imported materials and supplies.
Koshji also noted that the local products market has become a monopolistic force, determining product costs and profit margins at its discretion. There is even a threat of closure if the prices set by the private sector are not accepted. He illustrated this point with examples from the food and pharmaceutical industries.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.