World prices drop, Armenian prices grow

The continuous rise in prices for foodstuff will hit the Armenian residents in their wallets.

1% inflation was registered in the Armenian consumer market in May 2010, prices for foodstuff rising by 1,8% and for nonfoods by 0,9%. The inflation is mostly being explained by the rise in prices for fruit and vegetables by 10,4-16,7%. According to statistical data, the consumer price index made 106,3% as compared to the same period of 2009.

PanARMENIAN.Net - According to former chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia, Bagrat Asatryan, the inflation rate in Armenia is much higher than it is presented in the official statistical data. “Real inflation is estimated by market data or GDP index-deflator, which increased by 10% in May 2010, as compared with the same period of 2009,” Asatryan said. “Prices for foodstuff are decreasing worldwide, while in Armenia they continue growing.”

Actually, prices for foodstuff go down across the globe. According to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the price for wheat reduced by 5% in January-March 2010 and by 15,6% against the same period of 2009. The prices for rice dropped 7,5%; prices for sugar fell by 5%.

Meanwhile, Armenian oligarchs still determine prices in the republic, “neutralizing” the small and medium-sized businesses. The most vivid example of monopolization is the fuel market, where prices for petrol and diesel fuel grew by 31% and 34% respectively, with international prices for oil remaining the same.

The Armenian population is most of all concerned about the prices for foodstuffs, specifically vegetables, which went up by 11,1% in May 2010 as compared to April. The price for potato were inflated by 47,2%, for pepper by 9,9%, for beetroot by 21,7%, for cabbage by 33,2% and for carrot by 73,5%.

Experts say the price for potato will be 30% higher next year, due to reduction of crops in Shirak and Gegharkunik regions.

The prices for foodstuffs in Armenia are higher than international while the salaries and pensions are much lower. The average salary in April totaled AMD 108035 (USD 274, 204 euro or 7985 rubles); pension makes AMD 26 thousand. At that, the minimal basket of goods is AMD 37,3 thousand . So, it’s not surprising that the poverty in the republic is persisting, reaching 25% of the total number of the population.

Hripsime Hayrapetyan / PanARMENIAN News
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