Prices soared in the first three months of the year after the government removed subsidies from fuel and barley on 8 February.

Retailers in the kingdom raised the price of staple foods at the same time as subsidies were scrapped. Jordan’s Department of Statistics said that prices for fuel and lighting increased by 33.9 per cent, for dairy products and eggs by 31.7 per cent, and for cereals by 24 per cent.

The government increased the pay of about 600,000 civil servants and members of the armed forces so that they could afford fuel and food after the removal of subsidies.

The Department of Statistics’ inflation figure is almost exactly the same as the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of a 10.9 per cent increase in prices in 2008.

King Abdullah II reintroduced subsidies for barley and cooking gas on 15 March (MEED 21:3:08).