Cost of living has more than doubled since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in Kuwait. People, especially those on relatively low incomes, are struggling to make both ends meet with the prices of both goods and food products, including vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, as well as, other consumer goods such as cleaning materials, cookware, clothing, footwear, medicines, stationery, school materials and others have increased two-fold shows a survey of retail outlets in the country. This is in addition to steep increases in prices of many white goods such as television, computers, and other household items, as well as other regular home expenses.

Complaints on social media platforms reflect this price hike, with many people saying that this is unwarranted and that merchants are using the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse to fleece consumers. Social media is also rife with anger against the lax attitude of concerned authorities, who are supposed to monitor prices in the market and take action at businesses found to be gouging customers.

For their part, many merchants say the price increases are inevitable given that Kuwait depends on imports for most of its food and goods. They note that the price on most products have been hiked by exporting countries, and moreover, the cost of shipping and logistics of importing goods have also gone up sharply. In addition, businesses complain that rents for their shops and other properties have also been hiked by real-estate owners.

No matter what the causes, the end result is consumers are at a loss on how to stretch their monthly income to meet expenses.

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