GCC inflation rates up on higher housing prices
Muscat, August 20, 2014
Inflation rates jumped across GCC states between 1.21 per cent and 3.1 per cent in the six months ending June this year, driven by higher housing and utility costs.
The latest inflation figures issued by the Statistical Centre for the Co-operation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat) reveal that Bahrain topped the list among GCC countries, recording an inflation rate of 3.1 per cent over a six-month period ending in June, followed by 2.87 per cent in Kuwait, 2.8 per cent in Qatar, 2.7 per cent in Saudi Arabia, 2.21 per cent in the UAE and 1.21 per cent in Oman.
On a month-by-month basis, the rate of inflation recorded a monthly increase of 1.3 per cent in Bahrain, 0.41 per cent in UAE, 0.2 per cent in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Inflation rates witnessed a modest decrease of 0.1 per cent in Qatar and 0.07 per cent in Oman by the end of June when compared with May 2014 figures.
Breaking down the underlying factors for the annual inflation rate increases in June, when compared with the same period in 2013, the GCC-Stat figures reveal price increases across several different recording categories.
In Oman, furniture, household goods and routine household maintenance increased by 7.36 per cent, while in Qatar and Bahrain, costs for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased by 7.4 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, tobacco prices increased by 6.82 per cent and 6.7 per cent in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia respectively, while goods and services costs increased in the UAE by 5.17 per cent.
On the other hand, the GCC-Stat figures reveal a reduction in costs in several categories across the GCC member states. In Bahrain, costs for communication showed a 0.1 per cent decrease, while the recorded costs for transportation in Saudi Arabia and Oman fell by 0.2 per cent and 0.95 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, health costs in the UAE and Kuwait decreased by 0.01 per cent and 1.26 per cent respectively while prices for food, beverages and tobacco decreased in Qatar by 0.6 per cent.
General figures show an overall increase across GCC countries in the prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels through June where Qatar came first with 7.4 per cent, followed by Bahrain with 5.6 per cent, then 4.39 per cent in Kuwait, 4.1 per cent in Saudi Arabia, 2.43 per cent in the UAE and 1.26 per cent in Oman. - TradeArabia News Service