It’s no secret: prices across Lebanon for the vast majority of goods and services have witnessed an unprecedented spike as the lira continues to plunge against the dollar. Though the official rate is around LBP 1,500 for USD 1, the lira is trading on the black market for LBP 16,000 (current as of June 24, 2021), which translates to a whopping 967% surge in the exchange rate. Over the past four months alone, I’ve seen prices of local goods double. For example, Master Kettle Chips (144g) were selling for LBP 8,000 in February , whereas now a bag goes for LBP 15,000. Candia Lait 1-L TetraPak of milk are priced at 15,500 LBP, nearly double the LBP 8,000 tag they fetched at the start of the year. The other day I tweeted that “walking into a grocery store in Lebanon is like getting back a graded exam. Your heart stops as you scan the numbers on the price labels. It’s a harrowing experience.” But even more harrowing is the huge spread in prices you’ll occasionally witness across retaile
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