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SCPR’S Annual Bulletin for Consumer Price Index and Inflation in Syria 2023

The bulletin provides an independent assessment of consumer prices and inflation rates in all Syrian regions based on a monthly survey of consumer prices carried out by the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR) since October 2020. The SCPR had developed a methodology for building a price index based on components of the consumer basket, weighting, and market selection (See SCPR’s Consumer Price Index in Syria)

Syria witnessed hyperinflation in prices during the year 2023, as the CPI doubled compared to 2022 to reach 400 (The base year 2021) compared to 185 in 2022. This dangerous indicator that indicates the acceleration of the economic collapse accompanied by an increasing state of instability and uncertainty. The purchasing power of money deteriorated, and this inflation resulted in a significant increase in poverty lines (abject, lower, and upper) across Syria. In July and August 2023, the general price index recorded two significant price jumps. The total monthly inflation (M-o-M) for them exceeded 42.5 per cent, which constitutes a turning point in the rise in prices and indicates an acceleration in inflation rates compared to the previous months that witnessed high inflation during the period (2020 – 2022).

Twelve out of fourteen governorates recorded annual inflation (Y-o-Y) that exceeded 100 per cent during 2023, led by Al-Hasakeh at 148 per cent, then Ar-Raqqa at 137 per cent, then Tartous at 135 per cent, then Dara’a at 131 per cent, while Idleb recorded the lowest annual inflation rate of 60 per cent.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages group achieved the most considerable contribution to the annual inflation in Syria for the year 2023 (amounting to 116 per cent), with a contribution rate of 45 per cent, followed by the housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel oils group which recorded a rate of 25.7 per cent. The transportation group contributed 6.8 per cent of the annual inflation in 2023.

The Syrian pound against the US dollar witnessed a significant decline in 2023 compared to 2022 by more than 140 per cent, as the annual average exchange rate of the Syrian pound reached SYP 10565 per USD in 2023 after it was about SYP 4402 per USD in 2022. The value of the Turkish lira -the trading currency in the areas of the SIG and the SSG areas- decreased against the US dollar by 28.6 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022, as the annual average exchange rate of the Turkish lira reached TL 24.2 per USD in 2023 compared to TL 18.8 per USD in 2022.

In 2023, The average monthly salary stood at approximately SYP 370 thousand for a university-educated employee in the public sector at the start of their appointment. The wages in the private sector reached around SYP 524 thousand, while counted in the civil sector at SYP 1.5 million.

The real wages continued to decline in 2023 as inflation levels rose, completely unable to meet the minimum living requirements. Comparing wages in 2023 with wages in 2022 shows a decrease in the purchasing power of wages in the private sector by 17 per cent, and in the civil sector by 13 per cent.

Although there was an increase in wages in the GoS areas, the AA areas, the purchasing power of wages for employees in the public sector in the GoS areas decreased in 2023 by 30 per cent and in the AA areas by 7 per cent, which indicates that the increases Wages did not keep pace with the rise in prices during the year. 

The overall poverty rate will exceed 90 per cent in 2023. The average upper poverty line for a family will reach SYP 3.5 million per month during 2023, compared to SYP 1.6 million in 2022. The abject poverty rate exceeded 50 per cent in 2023, meaning that half of Syria’s population is unable to secure basic food needs, knowing that in 2010, the percentage of the population below the abject poverty line was only 1 per cent. Deir-Ezzor, Idleb, Hama, and Homs governorates recorded the highest rates of abject poverty. The estimated value of the abject poverty line per family was SYP 1.61 million per month in 2023, compared to SYP 736 thousand in 2022.

The wage gap above the upper poverty line reached 89 per cent for a university employee in the public sector, 85 per cent for a worker in the private sector, and 57 per cent for an employee in the civil sector. The widening of the wage gap reflects great risks resulting from the poverty of a large segment of Syrians and their increasing level of deprivation as their wage level is far from the poverty line.

To read the bulletin in English:
SCPR’S Annual Bulletin for CPI and Inflation in Syria 2023 (EN)

To read the bulletin in Arabic:
SCPR’S Annual Bulletin for CPI and Inflation in Syria 2023 (AR)

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