Ramadan: purchasing power of households in face of inflation


The month of Ramadan, profoundly rooted in Tunisian culture, is observed with traditional zeal as a period for spiritual reflection, prayer, and fasting. This year, nevertheless, the religious observances are outweighed by substantial economic hurdles.
Amidst notable inflation, especially impacting the food sector, Ramadan’s value to Tunisians remains undiminished. Yet, the changing times might provoke a shift in consumption habits. With an average inflation rate of 7.5%, escalating food prices have strained household budgets, greatly impacting the purchasing power of the population.
This economic strain poses a pivotal question: Will Tunisians continue their traditional consumption routines during Ramadan at the expense of their already constrained financial resources, or will they adapt to the circumstances by moderating their spending?
Compounding the issue of inflation is the persistent shortage of basic food items, including sugar, coffee, rice, milk, and subsidized vegetable oil, further challenging the ability of citizens to satisfy their basic needs. Severe drought and a shortfall in rain have adversely affected agriculture, leading to price hikes for fruits, vegetables, and cereals.
Climate change plays an important role in this crisis. The unparalleled drought conditions have desiccated the land and diminished water supplies, directly influencing agricultural output. With dams reaching critically low levels and the unchecked extraction from wells endangering the aquifer, the situation is dire.
Faced with these challenges, Tunisians must decide whether to uphold Ramadan traditions despite the economic hardships or to adapt by altering their consumption patterns.
Despite the hardships, Ramadan will continue to be a revered period for Tunisians. Nevertheless, economic realities may necessitate adjustments. Many will probably strive more cost-effective alternatives, perhaps by reducing the scale of celebrations or choosing simpler meals, as they navigate through these testing times.


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