Inflation Nearly Tripled in Kurdistan Region Last Year

25/01/2013 RUDAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Inflation rose to 5.6 percent in 2012, nearly three times more than the year before, the head of the Kurdistan Region’s Statistics Department said. “Inflation was two percent in 2011, however it increased to 5.6 percent in 2012,” said Sirwan Muhammad, adding that the data were based on research conducted by his office and an international bank.

Muhammad said that a rise in salaries and property prices had contributed to increasing inflation, and that the data would be released in the next few months.  “In order to assess inflation, 700 items must be evaluated,” he said. “The inflation rate has considerably increased in the Kurdistan Region,” Muhammad said.  “For this year, we start from zero since no research was conducted to assess inflation in Iraq before 2007.” The object of the research is to help the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) increase the budget for areas lacking primary services and housing, Muhammad said. “Another goal is to estimate the mother’s mortality during pregnancy, because it is important to know where the level of maternity care stands in the region,” he added.

“The research also shows where the economy of Kurdistan region stands compared to neighboring countries.” Muhammad said. He added that the poverty level in the Kurdistan Region will be different from the rest of Iraq since the price of food, housing and transportation is more expensive compared to individual income in the Kurdistan Region. In 2007, the poverty rate was 22 percent in southern Iraq whereas it was 4.7 in the Kurdistan Region, according to research conducted by an international bank the same year.  Muhammad suspects that the poverty rate in Kurdistan Region has declined since then.