Beer and Inflation

Prices fluctuate quite easily here. Last week a meal out (injera and tibs – goat meat) was 12 birr (48 pence). This week it has rocketed to 16 birr (64 pence)! The general trend is upwards but at the market this weekend everything was 1 birr cheaper per kilogram. For example, tomatoes last week were 4 birr / kg (16 pence) – this week down to a bargain 3 birr / kg (only 12 pence).

The rising price of beer is causing trouble for our teacher colleagues. They prefer the locally brewed bottled beers and until recently the price was a manageable 6 birr (24 pence). This week it has risen to an outrageous 10 birr (40 pence) which is obviously too much! They have moved over to drinking draft beer – still only 4 birr (16 pence).
There is intense speculation that next month will see a long-delayed wage increase for public sector workers. Not just 2 or 3 % here. Salaries will increase 100 % across the board – with some categories getting 120 or 150 % wage increases!! There is also specualtion that shops and traders will increase their prices accordingly, so there could be a period of high inflation ahead, though the government has said it would try to control price increases. So perhaps the teachers will be sticking to draft beer for the forseeable future.

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