Inflation rates in the GCC registered increases by between 0.73% and 2.96% by end of March 2014 when compared to March 2013.
A recently released inflation report issued by the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat), reveals that Kuwait recorded the highest rate of inflation among the GCC member states registering an increase of 2.96%, followed by 2.6% for both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, 2.3% for Bahrain, 1.85% in the United Arab Emirates, while Oman registered the lowest rate of inflation with a 0.73% increase in the consumer price index.
When compared to February 2014, the March inflation rates show a 0.3% increase in Kuwait and Qatar, 0.22% in the United Arab Emirates and 0.2% in Saudi Arabia. However, Oman recorded a 0.06% decrease in the same period, while prices in Bahrain remained stable.
As for the main categories for the consumer price index in each GCC member state, figures showed an increase over the 12-month period through March 2014 as follows: Education increased by 4.39% in the United Arab Emirates and 6.24% in Oman, Food ‘&’ Beverage prices in Bahrain went up by 5.6%, while Tobacco prices in Saudi Arabia also increased by 6.4%. Housing and Energy costs recorded highest increases in Qatar, growing by 5.7%, while costs for Furniture and Household Goods in Kuwait grew by 4.83%.
On the other hand, statistics revealed decrease in the Medical Care group prices in the United Arab Emirates by 0.14%, while Transportation costs in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were down by 0.8% and 3.0% respectively. Communication costs in Oman decreased by 4.62% in the same period, while Miscellaneous Goods and Services in Qatar and Kuwait were respectively down by 2.2% and 2.38%.
Overall pan-GCC figures show that costs for Education witnessed the highest growth, increasing by 6.24% in Oman, 5.0% in Bahrain, 4.39% in the United Arab Emirates, 4.06% in Kuwait and 3.7% in Saudi Arabia. On the contrary, the Communications group witnessed a decrease in prices by March 2014 compared to March 2013 in all GCC states except for Bahrain where it slightly increased by 0.1%. Communications registered a drop in prices of 4.62% in Oman, 1.28% in Kuwait, 0.3% in Saudi Arabia, 0.08% in the United Arab Emirates.
Source : WAM News Agency for United Arab Emirates