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Inflation in Oman lowest in the GCC



Muscat: Inflation rates across Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries ranged between 1.21 per cent and 3.10 per cent in June, 2014.

The latest inflation figures issued by the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat) reveals that Bahrain topped the list among GCC countries, recording an inflation rate of 3.10 per cent over a 6-month period ending in June 2014, followed by 2.87 per cent in Kuwait, 2.80 per cent in Qatar, 2.70 per cent in Saudi Arabia, 2.21 per cent in the United Arab Emirates and 1.21 per cent in the Sultanate.

On a month-by-month basis, the rate of inflation recorded a monthly increase of 1.30 per cent in Bahrain, 0.41 per cent in the United Arab Emirates, 0.20 per cent in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, while inflation rates witnessed a modest decrease of 0.10 per cent in Qatar and 0.07 per cent in the Sultanate by the end of June when compared against May 2014 figures.

Breaking down the underlying factors for the annual inflation rate increases in June 2014, when compared to 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 7.40 per cent and 5.60 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, tobacco prices increased by 6.82 per cent and 6.70 per cent in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia respectively, while goods and services costs increased in the United Arab Emirates by 5.17 per cent.

The GCC-Stat figures reveal a reduction in costs in several categories across the GCC member states. In Bahrain, costs for communication showed a 0.10 per cent fall, while the recorded costs for transportation in Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate fell by 0.20 per cent and 0.95 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, health costs in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait fell by 0.01 per cent and 1.26 per cent in the same order, while prices for food, beverages and tobacco decreased in Qatar by 0.60 per cent.

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