As I have documented previously, the economic devastation and international sanctions that have accompanied Syria’s civil war have wreaked havoc on the country’s currency, the Syrian pound (SYP). In a desperate, wrong-headed attempt to save its troubled currency, the Assad regime has imposed harsh penalties for currency trading on the black-market. This strategy proved wildly unsuccessful when it was utilized by the Iran in October of 2012.
Indeed, as was the case in Iran, attempts to suppress currency exchange have sparked a panic – a run on the Syrian pound. As of 10 July 2013, the value of the Syrian pound on the black market has hit an all time low, with the current black-market exchange rate now sitting at 295.00 SYP/USD.
As the accompanying chart shows, this has sent the implied monthly inflation rate in Syria skyrocketing.
Yes, Syria’s implied monthly inflation rate is now 91.9%. This means that Syria has exceeded the threshold for hyperinflation (an inflation rate of 50% per month). Only time will tell if this run on the Syrian pound will continue. But, for the time being, we can be sure that the Syrian pound will remain a troubled currency.
I have established a page to track current black-market exchange-rate and implied inflation data for the Syrian pound, as well as for troubled currencies in Iran, Argentina, North Korea, and Venezuela. For more, see: The Troubled Currencies Project.