27 July 2012 [ESAT]
Less than a month after the Ethiopian Central Statistics agency declared that inflation is easing and the Finance Minister, Sufian Ahmed, touted the figure in parliament, prices of basic food items are showing a sharp rise as of the previous week.
Price of staple foods like Teff has shown a sharp increase compared to the price quoted two weeks ago. A report compiled by our reporter in Ethiopia says it is very expensive if not impossible to get edible oil on the market. Scored of restaurants have shuttered their operations due to shortage of cooking oil.
One resident of Addis Ababa, our reporter has talked to at the local market said “we used to say the inflation is hurting but these days it has become a lot worse. The cost of living is literally knocking many out of existence.”
Independent observers say the overall performance of the market has shown a rapid decline since the day the speculation about the Prime Minister’s health was reported on the media. Numerous merchants that have close ties with the regime are moving their capital outside of the country and this is believed to have contributed to the shortage of imported items like cooking oils. Some importers are hoarding a lot of imported stock in the expectation that there will be further increase as a result of the impending political uncertainty.
Amidst this whole, ordinary citizens are having hard time to live of their meager income in a soaring market condition.