Syria weakens official exchange rate to U.S. dollar by 7 pct

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BEIRUT, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Syria’s central bank has weakened its official exchange rate to 3,015 Syrian pounds to the dollar, a central bank statement said on Monday, while black market rates used for most economic activity sat around 4,440.

The official rate was previously set at 2,814.

Monday’s softening of the official rate represents a loss in value of roughly seven percent.

Syria’s economy, crippled by more than a decade of war, is increasingly dollarised as people try to protect themselves against currency depreciation and inflation.

The collapse of the pound has driven up the price of goods and aggravated hardship as Syrians struggle to buy food, electricity and other basics.

The official rate is used for official transactions and the relatively small amount of exchange that occurs via the state.

(Reporting by Kinda Makieh; Writing by Timour Azhari, Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, William Maclean)

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