Syria raises gasoline prices in latest wartime austerity move

Syria's government has raised the price of gasoline, a step likely to increase hardship for many Syrians already suffering from the economic consequences of civil war.

The government declaration was issued late Friday, raising a liter (quarter gallon) of gasoline from 80 Syrian pounds (45 cents, on the black market) to 100 (57 cents). Imad al-Assil, deputy minister of internal trade and consumer protection, said the decision would simultaneously raise transportation fees by 17 percent.

The increase will likely impact the price of other goods due to increased transportation costs. It will also likely raise heating costs for many households, which use gasoline-powered generators to cope with frequent outages.

Syria has been importing gasoline to make up for a shortfall in local production, interrupted by the 2 ½ conflict.