The Iraqi dinar has since mid-December plummeted on the parallel market, trading for as low as 1,750 against the US dollar. This is while the exchange rate for the greenback set by the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has stood at 1,460 dinars—until Feb. 7, when the council of ministers agreed to lower it to 1,300.
Ali Al-Doun, a 25-year-old shop-owner from the eastern Baghdad district of Al-Amin, sells mainly food items. He told Amwaj.media that the depreciation of the dinar on the parallel market has left him unable to fill his shop's shelves. "The prices of foodstuffs were raised at source [by traders] and have seen a 50% increase,” he lamented, contrasting current conditions with the official devaluation in Dec. 2020. Back then, he explained, the previous Mustafa Al-Kadhimi administration’s (2020-22) devaluation of the dinar by 23%—from 1,182 to 1,460 dinars per US dollar—only led to a 25% rise in the prices of items he sells.
Yet with the recent fluctuation of exchange rates on the parallel market, Doun said he will not take any risks and will only buy foodstuffs once prices normalize as he can otherwise go out of business—leaving him among the millions of...
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