Friday, September 15, 2006


The cost of war

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Iraq's economy has hit an all time low since the start of the war. Some estimate unemployment at 60 per cent (the CIA shows a 30 per cent rate for 2005), and prices for foodstuffs and basic goods have doubled, and in some cases tripled, since 2003.
Earlier this month, Iraq's planning minister, Ali Baban, said the rise in the consumer price index (CPI), the basket of goods and services used to measure inflation, increased by nearly 70 per cent in July compared with 12 months earlier. In July 2005, the CPI rose by 30 per cent.
Significant US reconstruction spending was deflected to security: Of more than $12 billion spent through the middle of this year, at least $4 billion went to security. The average monthly wage in Iraq now is less than $200.

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