UAE deflation eases as rents pick up
Abu Dhabi, March 4, 2010
Deflation in the United Arab Emirates eased slightly in January as property rental prices picked up, while food prices in the country were broadly stable, data showed on Thursday.
The global economic downturn slashed consumer price growth across the world's largest oil exporting region from 2008 record peaks with some countries such as the UAE and Qatar falling into deflation last year.
Consumer prices in the UAE fell 0.32 percent on an annual basis in January, after a decrease of 0.42 percent in December, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
On the month, prices decreased 0.06 percent, after falling 0.71 percent in December.
Annual inflation in the second-largest Arab economy, which saw four months of consecutive price declines before a one-off rise in November, fell to a nine-year low of 1.6 percent last year from a record high of 12.3 percent in 2008.
The bureau said prices in the main household category, which accounts for 39 percent of the inflation basket and includes rents and energy costs, rose 0.42 percent month-on-month in January due to a similar increase in rents.
Food prices rose by an anaemic 0.05 percent in January from the previous month, while transport prices eased 0.09 percent.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected average inflation of 2.5 percent this year as the economy recovers from the last year's downturn.
The UAE central bank governor said in January the country would see very low inflation for more than one year. -Reuters