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In Ramadan, Prices were too Expensive for Consumers; People resort to buying from Street sellers, Study Says
  Written By: Abdul Rahim Al-Showthabi  ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
September 29, 2008



A public opinion survey revealed that burdens have increased on Yemeni families as a result of the increase in family needs from goods and other household products that were purchased during the month of Ramadan.

The survey which was conducted on 400 families, and was carried out by Economic Information and Studies Center revealed that 50 % of families admit to an increase in their expenses during Ramadan.

When asked on how families faced the high expenses during the month, 28.5% of respondents said that they cover their expenses by easy loans taken from friends or relatives, while 15% of respondents said that they sold personal property.

Meanwhile, 23% of participants said that they relied greatly on the bonus given by the government in the beginning of Ramadan to face the price increases, nevertheless 22% of respondents assured that they depended on money they put aside before Ramadan. In the first week of Ramadan, President Saleh ordered that all governmental employees, including those retired, receive a YR 25,000 to help ease the hardships some families face during the month of Ramadan.

Most importantly, the survey indicated that 46% of respondents did not prepare a specific budget for Ramadan's expenses. At the same time 54% of respondents said that they set a specified budget for Ramadan's expenses.

With regard to high food prices, about 80.5% of respondents insisted to buy their supplies from street sellers searching for the cheapest prices. However, 10.5% of participants said that they only buy rare products from street sellers.

Regarding products' expiry date, 48.5% respondents said that they irregularly checked foodstuffs' expiry date before purchasing, while 22% of respondents said that they didnít care about the products' expiry date. 

As for sales and price reductions, the majority of respondents didn't show interest, claiming that customers do not trust retailers.

In this regard, 50.5% of participants said that they buy products that they see  advertised. However, 28.5 of respondents assured that they rarely follow advertised foodstuffs.

According to the study, the performance of governmental authorities was better when it comes to observing goods and materials being sold in the markets. In this regard, 25% of participants said that the governmental observers role was perfect, while 36% of participants considered their role as average, and a number of participants believed that they had no role in observing the markets at all.

The study aimed to reveal a scientific indicator on matters related to citizens' expenses on foodstuffs during Ramadan.

In addition, the study introduced information about citizens' scope of interest upon buying goods and foodstuffs from street sellers. Conversely, the study tried to reveal the extent of the observatory attendance of governmental authorities on controlling deception in the Yemeni markets.

President of the by Economic Information and Studies Center Mustafa Nasr called the government, intellectuals and journalists to enlighten citizens about what they should consume. In this concern, 48.5 of participants said that they didn't know whether street sellers foods were harmful to their health or not.  Nevertheless, 44% of respondents thought that street sellers' foods were not healthy while 7% of participants said that street sellers' foods were healthy.

Street sellers selling foods, fruits or drinks in push carts or movable stalls are a common sight around the country, especially in big cities. However, the rapidly increasing of street sellers' places on streets and complexes have somewhat reduced food and materials' prices. Street sellers centers or complexes feature permanent stalls, each offering their own special foods or clothes. These places usually stay open until late, selling food, clothes, and other materials catering stay in move until late nights.