Price inflation has stifled all aspects of life, and marriage and preparing a home have become a dream for most young people who receive their salaries in lira, if the salary is available due to the high unemployment rate, especially among this category. And if some of the necessities of life have remained at almost pre-crisis levels, such as house rents, electricity and gas fees, etc., however, furnishing and equipping the house, for example, has become closer to imagination. “The consumer price index for furniture and household appliances increased by 655%, according to the central census, between December 2019 and December 2020. By the end of 2021, the numbers will be more inflated,” according to the founder of the “Crisis Observatory” Nasser Yassin. Since marriage is one of the things that cannot be stopped, “people need humility, because many are no longer able to live as before, or resort to the option of local industries.”“At the minimum, one who is about to get married today needs a hundred million pounds to prepare a modest house, if we assume that the house is available,” Osama, the owner of a home and electrical appliances store, summarizes the situation of those who are about to get married in light of the crisis. “Previously, a young man needed $15 thousand, or 22 million pounds, to furnish his house. Today, how much is 15 thousand dollars?”, pointing out that the washing machine, whose price was 600,000 pounds, now costs between 4 and 5 million pounds, and the refrigerator, whose price was 900 A thousand pounds, today it is between 10 million and 13 million. And if the installment was previously one of the facilities that motivate customers to buy, but today “we can never talk about installment”, because the major companies have stopped selling goods to shop owners, and they, in turn, are no longer able to “religious people.” We live in a country where we do not know what will happen tomorrow, nor if it will still be there after two months, so how can we pay it in installments?”
The consumer price index for household appliances increased by 655% between December 2019 and December 2020
It is true that prices rose in Lebanese pounds as a result of the collapse of the currency, but they are still the same in dollars, “even declining,” according to Said, the owner of a home appliance store. “Customs and TVA fees are still based on 1,515 Lebanese pounds. Those who receive their salaries in dollars did not feel that anything had changed, unlike someone whose salary was a million pounds, which barely suffices him to eat and drink.
A quick tour of some of the halls and on the websites shows the overwhelming gap between the price of the Lebanese pound and the minimum wage and the monthly salary of the Lebanese. In the face of the sharp rise in prices, many people tried to find “exits” to help them prepare their homes. Some resorted to used electrical tools or to “bales” to buy “linen”. While a significant number of young people made an “irreversible decision”… to abstain from marriage.