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Article posted Sep 04 2006, 10:35 PM Category: Economy Source: Associated Press Print

Iraq's inflation rate hits 70%: minister


Iraq's inflation rate has soared to reach nearly 70 percent, the country's planning minister said Sunday. The inflation rate from July 2005 to July 2006 stood at 69.6 percent, Ali Baban said.

"This indicates that inflation not just increased, but it is out of control," he said. Baban said prices had increased in all goods used to measure inflation, including food, fuel, transport, medical services and drugs, clothing, property, furniture and other essential goods.

Fuel and electricity prices saw the highest increase, standing at 374 percent higher this July from the same month last year, Baban said. The transport and communications sector saw a 218 percent rise, while goods and services prices increased by 37.3 percent.

Last year, inflation stood at 30 percent as mismanagement, lawlessness and attacks against refineries and supply lines drove up fuel and electricity prices and pushed overall prices and insurance rates higher.

Insurgents in Iraq have waged attacks against Iraq's food and fuel lines that managed to disrupt supplies, drive prices up and create a black market parallel to the subsidized prices.





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