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posted: 9/3/2012 8:17 AM

Syria consumer prices soar most in six months on sanctions

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Bloomberg News

Syrian consumer prices surged the most in at least six months in June as sanctions gripped the economy and violence intensified between President Bashar al- Assad's army and rebels.

Consumer prices rose 36 percent from a year earlier and climbed 2.9 percent from May, when annual inflation advanced almost 33 percent, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics in Damascus. The June figure is the highest this year, according to Bloomberg calculations.

"The hike in inflation is due to the lagging impact of sanctions," Nassib Ghobril, chief economist at Beirut-based Byblos Bank SAL, said by phone today. "Sanctions, disruption of trade routes, shortage of goods in the markets and the overall turmoil are the main factors" that pushed prices up.

Assad and his government face mounting sanctions by the international community. The latest was imposed last month by the Obama administration cutting state-run oil company Sytrol off access to the international banking system.

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