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Cash Consortium for Iraq - Brief: COVID-19 Impacts on Prices and Markets, March - October 2020

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Please find a recent analysis brief developed by the CCI on price and market trends following the onset of COVID-19 economic impacts and restriction measures to contain its spread in Iraq.

Primary findings include:

  • COVID-19 impacts have disrupted both consumers and retailers in Iraq.

  • The price increases across a variety of essential items suggest that households experienced reduced purchasing power with the resources they did have and, while also occasionally facing shortages of key commodities.

  • On average, prices of common basket goods have increased 13% as compared with pre-COVID baseline prices in January 2020; the greatest price spikes were recorded between March and May.

  • There is variation in impacts across governorates; Kirkuk and Salah al Din experienced the largest increases in price of the common basket of goods and increased prices persist today.

  • The two data collection initiatives monitoring price and market changes over the past seven months has demonstrated the severe impact the crisis has had for socio-economically vulnerable households, with over 50% consistently reporting inability to meet basic needs.

  • While the proportion of households reporting that they were unable to work due to COVID-19 had consistently been over 80%, this seems to have experienced a large drop in September - a forthcoming Labor Market Assessment conducted by the CCI in partnership with the ILO and Fafo should shed further light on this shift.

Further research and monitoring is necessary to ensure visibility on any lasting impacts of these dramatic economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 in Iraq. The devaluation of the dinar is expected to drive further disruption in 2021.