Inflation (358)


Insurance premiums increased by 37 percent in Syria last year as insurers raised prices to keep pace with inflation.


Sales of cement in Syria increased by around 17 percent last year, indicating an increase in construction activity despite the Covid-19 pandemic and a significant drop in the population’s purchasing power.


Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad dismissed Central Bank Governor Hazem Qarfoul a day before the Syrian pound was officially devalued for the second time in a year after sinking to record lows on the black market.


This 2,200-word factsheet provides a profile of the Commercial Bank of Syria, the country's largest lender, whose history goes back to the Ottoman Empire and which is now under western sanctions.


The Syrian government has granted a one-off cash bonus to civil servants, military personnel and pensioners as the depreciation of the pound continues to erode the value of state employees’ wages.


The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) has introduced a new, preferential exchange rate for international agencies at twice the official rate as the Syrian pound trades near record lows against the dollar on the black market.


This 2,200-word factsheet provides an overview of the Syrian tobacco sector, a major industry, particularly in the coastal area.


The Syrian government has offered farmers more than double what it paid for wheat and cotton last year, boosting the incentive for them to sell their harvest to Damascus instead of a rival administration in the northeast of the country.


Gold prices in Syria are up more than 288 percent year-on-year amid volatility in global prices and a slide in the value of the local currency, which reached a historic low this week.


The Syrian pound has fallen to another historical low after crossing the SYP 4,000 threshold against the dollar on the black market despite a renewed crackdown by the government on foreign exchange dealers and speculators.


The annual percentage change in the consumer price index in Syria since 2010.


Inflation hit a record 133.7 percent in Syria last July, the largest year-on-year increase in decades in the prices of commodities and services, according to recently released official data.


The main index of the Syrian stock exchange jumped some 19 percent last month crossing both the 9,000 and 10,000 levels for the first time.


The Syrian government has walked back from a decision that sought to limit inflation on consumer goods, relieving importers of most commodities from the obligation to sell a fixed share of their imports to state-owned entities at cost price.


Damascus’ Marota City has for years taken the media spotlight as an example of a reconstruction project that has yet to see any real results on the ground. However, discussion has grown in recent weeks around Marota’s sister construction project, Basilia City.


The Syrian pound has plummeted to its weakest levels against the US dollar in history, ranging between SYP 3,270 to SYP 3,300 per dollar in the black market.


The number of new manufacturers starting operations in Syria increased slightly last year, according to official data, but the growth rate was much lower than in 2019 due largely to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic as well as ongoing fuel and electricity shortages and the deterioration of the Syrian pound.


The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) has started to circulate SYP 5,000 notes, the highest ever denomination of the currency to be issued, in an acknowledgement of the intractable inflation that has been afflicting the country for years.


The Syrian government is moving to more actively regulate e-commerce businesses and services in Syria following recent growth in the sector as more Syrians go online to order goods and services during the coronavirus pandemic.


The Syrian government has hiked the price of petrol for the third time within a year and the second time in less than six months. Although the increase is more modest than previous price hikes, deteriorating living conditions worsened by rapidly rising prices have already stoked tensions across the country.


The rapidly rising cost of living in Syria and widespread frustration with the government’s inability to halt the deteriorating conditions have led to some surprising—if still limited—displays of discontent in recent weeks, including critical posts on social media and even small demonstrations.


Syrians once again find themselves facing long queues at petrol stations as shortages of oil products in the country resume, bringing a few weeks of relative stability to an end. 


The final months of 2020 saw an unprecedented rate of demolitions targeting so-called “building violations” in the form of an organised campaign that began in Hama governorate, and then expanded to Damascus Countryside, Quneitra, Suweida and Deir-ez-Zor. Even during the winter holidays, provincial councils mobilised and continued to demolish buildings into New Year’s Eve, implementing what pro-government websites described as “strict orders” from a high-level political authority.


The year 2020 saw a recovery for the main indices on the Damascus Securities Exchange after both fell the previous year despite high hopes from new listings.


A second bonus was granted to Syrian state employees, pensioners, and the military for the year 2020, drawing on savings from reductions in subsidy programmes, according to government officials. It came two months after the issuance of a similar bonus.


The Central Bank of Syria has introduced a new exchange rate for the fees paid by Syrian men to avoid mandatory military service. The new price for the dollar is twice the official rate, raising fears among many Syrians that the increased rate may soon be applied to other transactions as well.


Syria’s insurance premiums increased by nine percent in the first half of this year, according to official data. Given the high inflation rate, this reflects a steep decline in real terms, reflecting the poor state of the economy.


The Syrian pound has renewed its sharp decline and is once again nearing the level of 3,000 pounds to the US dollar it crossed this summer before making a modest recovery.


Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has sought to place blame for Syria’s economic crisis on Syrians who transferred their money to Lebanese banks, portraying these transfers as a major factor alongside sanctions and other fallout from the conflict.


The Syrian government has fallen short in its expenditure on investments in 2020 so far and intends to generate increased revenues through taxes, according to recent ministry statements reported in local media.


The value of shares traded in the Damascus Securities Exchange last month fell to its lowest level in over two years.


There has been a significant surge in Iranian oil exports to Syria for the second time this year, according to several reports confirmed last month. The shipments—which mostly came through Syria’s ports, in addition to some smaller land cargoes—were likely delivered in an attempt to help ease Syria’s oil crisis ahead of the winter season.


Following a sharp rise in the price of petrol and fuel last week, the Syrian president has reduced the income tax levied on wage earners in a bid to raise net incomes but also to spare the government a much costlier salary increase.


The government has doubled the price of fuel oil and increased the price of petrol by 80 percent, a move that will significantly increase prices across the Syrian economy, and reduce both the competitiveness of Syrian manufacturers and the purchasing power of the population.


The Central Bank of Syria has provided data on the performance of the banking sector as a whole, including that of state-owned banks.


The Ministry of Tourism, which last week became the first Syrian ministry to be blacklisted by OFAC, has released data on the performance of some of the hotels under its management.


Syria’s 2021 budget is planned at SYP 8.5 trillion, according to a preliminary draft submitted this month. In nominal terms, this is more than twice last year’s level.


More inflation data from the government shows that prices jumped by around a third last year.


The Syrian government has issued a decision forcing all importers of a large list of goods to resell five percent of their imports at cost to an entity affiliated with the Ministry of Defence.


The Central Bank of Syria has repaid certificates of deposits maturing on September 23.


The government’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has updated its inflation data for most of last year, confirming that there was an acceleration in consumer prices.


In this 2,800-word factsheet we provide an overview of Syria's wheat sector and of the challenges it faces.


A shortage of oil products is leading to a steep increase in public transport fares across Syria. In Aleppo, Damascus and other major cities, ticket prices are increasing by around 50 percent, eating into the population’s meagre purchasing power.


The Central Bank of Syria has raised SYP 150 billion by issuing treasury bonds through an auction held on August 10. However, the number of banks that subscribed to the issue was the lowest since the country started issuing treasury securities.


The Central Bank of Syria has announced that it plans to issue new treasury bonds, confirming that government securities have become a primary tool for raising cash.


The two main indices of the Damascus Securities Exchange increased by about 30 percent in the first half of this year, lower than the estimated inflation rate.


The Central Bank of Syria has raised SYP 74.3 billion from its latest certificates of deposit issue, while some banks are restricting access to cash.