Inflation in Cuba’s informal market rises by 76%

Inflation in Cuba continues to rise, reaching unprecedented levels. Both state commerce and the informal market record very high figures which directly affect every consumer on the island.

If we talk about state trade, duty on imported liquor and tobacco was increased last January.

This led to a 10.15% increase in strong cigars, the product that had the largest price increase that month. The alcoholic beverages and tobacco category grew by 7.72% during the same period.

According to official data Inflation in Cuba rose 2.9% last month, more than the 2.6% recorded in January, according to the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).

This represents a cumulative 5.5% in 2024. Now, if these figures are compared with figures for the same period in 2023, Cubans pay on average 32% more.

informal market inflation

According to Analysis According to American economist Steve Hanke, actual inflation was 76%. That means the figure of ONEI is more than double. The State Office takes into account in its report only the state markets, which, by the way, are very poorly supplied.

This phenomenon also includes the continued depreciation of the Cuban peso. According to experts, It has declined by 45.9% against the dollar since January 2023, The exchange rate is $320 CUP for each dollar.

Dairy products have also become quite expensive. This results in the shortage of a product that is neither in liquid nor powder version.

For example, fresh milk rose 7.5% and cheese rose 8.1% in February. These products, along with garlic at 8%, remain as inflation leaders, complemented by pork (6.7%).

This scenario is combined with the huge increase in prices suffered by the restaurant and hotel segment, which also includes meals eaten outside home. Overall its price is 41% higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile, transportation prices increased by the official rate on March 1. This factor continued to increase by 2.44% since February.

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