Lebanon, Argentina, Zimbabwe countries with highest inflation in Feb
The Lebanese, Zimbabwean, and Argentine economies performed the worst in February in light of an ongoing economic crisis that saw no country in the world deflate.
Lebanon, Argentina, and Zimbabwe were the countries with the highest annual inflation rates in February 2023, according to calculations made by Russian news agency Sputnik and based on data from national statistics.
Inflation in Lebanon was at a whopping 190% in February, putting it in first place by far, while Argentina ranked second with an annual inflation rate of 102.5%. The country with the highest inflation rate in January, Zimbabwe, saw its inflation cooling down to 92.3% after it was at 230%.
Joanna Wronecka, the UN’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon, warned in a tweet that the Lebanese people are severely harmed by currency depreciation and inflation three years after Lebanon declared its first ever-sovereign default.
She also noted that the "Lebanese are still waiting for their leaders to act to rescue the country."
Wronecka further argued that reforms agreed upon with the IMF are "crucial and inevitable."
Most of Lebanon's population is now living in poverty as a result of the country's financial crisis, and the political class, which is frequently held responsible, has done nothing to address the situation.
China ranks lowest at 1%
Sudan and Suriname completed the top five list with their inflation rates being at 63.3% and 58%, respectively.
Inflation hit Europe pretty hard, as well, as Moldova ranked highest with 25.9%, followed by Hungary at 25.4% and Ukraine at 24.9% as Switzerland and Lichtenstein had the lowest inflation rates on the continent, at 3.4%.
In the Middle East, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt had the worst inflation rates, with the latter two's inflation rates being 55.2% and 31.9%, respectively. Oman had the lowest inflation rate, with 1.9%.
Asia's worst-ranking countries were Sri Lanka, 53.6%, Laos, 41.4%, and Pakistan, 31.5%. China ranked lowest with a mere 1% inflation rate.
Sri Lanka defaulted on its $46 billion foreign debt in April 2022 and was negotiating a bailout deal with the IMF to repair its shattered finances. The country witnessed months of lack of food, fuel, and medicine, extended power cuts, and inflation - which in turn has caused civil unrest and public outrage.
Months of protests during the height of the crisis pushed then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to depart the country and resign in July 2022 following accusations of economic mismanagement and corruption.
No deflation anywhere in the world
Moreover, it is the same in Pakistan. The Pakistani economy has been exacerbated by political instability, the global energy crisis, earthquakes, and the devastating floods that submerged large portions of the country in 2022.
As a result, the country requires billions of dollars of financing to service existing debt. It is also worth noting that foreign exchange reserves have also dwindled and the value of the rupee diminished.
The country in South Asia, which is home to more than 220 million people, must implement stringent tax changes and raise energy costs if it wants to receive the following tranche of a $6.5 billion IMF loan and avoid defaulting.
There was no deflation anywhere in the world, with half the world recording inflation rates above 8.7% in February.
Sputnik reported that it conducted the calculations on the basis of data from the national statistical agencies of all the 193 United Nations member states.