Saudi Arabia's May inflation eases to 5.1pc
Riyadh, June 9, 2012
Saudi Arabia's annual inflation eased to a nine-month low of 5.1 per cent in May, despite a slight rise in food and housing prices, official data showed on Saturday.
Consumer prices slowed to 5.1 percent in May from 5.3 per cent in the same month a year earlier, while monthly inflation remained unchanged from April at 0.2 per cent, according to data from the Central Department of Statistics (CDS).
Food prices increased by 0.1 per cent and housing and rental items rose by 0.2 per cent. Home repairs, fuel and water supply prices remained unchanged for the month while furnishing and kitchen appliances prices were down 0.3 and 0.1 per cent, respectively.
In May, the central bank said in a report that it expects inflationary pressures to continue in the second quarter.
The CDS said in February that it expected relative price stability or even a slight decline in inflationary pressures in the near term.
Saudi Arabia suffers from a housing shortage that drives up real estate prices. Last year the government promised to build half a million new homes at a cost of $67 billion.
The largest Arab economy expanded by an officially estimated 6.8 percent in 2011; it is forecast by a Reuters poll of analysts to grow 4 per cent this year, but that estimate could be exceeded if oil prices remain high and Saudi Arabia produces more oil.-Reuters