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Inflation rises by 3.7 per cent in first half of year — DoS

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Jul 12,2017 - Last updated at Jul 14,2017

AMMAN — A 3.7 per cent rise in the inflation rate can be attributed to economic measures taken last year, including increasing taxes and removing subsidies for commodities, experts said.

According to the Department of Statistics (DoS), inflation, measured through consumer prices, rose by 3.7 per cent in the first half of 2017 compared to the figure recorded during the same period of 2016, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Tuesday.
The report said that the main item groups that led the increase were transportation (14.3 per cent), vegetables, dried and canned legumes (14.2 per cent), tobacco and cigarettes (9.2 per cent), culture and entertainment (9.6 per cent), and rents (2 per cent).

In a telephone interview with The Jordan Times, economist Mazen Iresheid attributed the rise to a government decision last December to increase or add taxes to commodities. 

The hike started at the beginning of this year, Iresheid said, just after the endorsement of the public budget, which included levying new taxes and removing subsidies.

Analyst and columnist at Al Ghad daily newspaper, Yousef Damra, told The Jordan Times that, in addition to the taxes and subsidies, some laws have led to increasing prices.

The Landlords and Tenants Law gives landlords more power, allowing them to end contracts with tenants and rent their houses as many times as they want, which gives some the opportunity to exaggerate prices, according to Damara.

For the decrease in prices of some goods, Damara said that it is due to supply and “weak purchasing power”, which reflects a general recession in economic growth.

The growth indicator is the lowest in 15 years, said the columnist, adding that it is currently 2.2 per cent.

As part of economic reforms under the International Monetary Fund's Extended Fund Facility, the government has taken a series of measures that “would have not affect the limited- and middle-income brackets of society", the government previously stated.

 

The reforms included standardising the sales tax at 16 per cent, adding new taxes, and removing subsidies for several commodities. 

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