Inflation in GCC countries register increase of 2.96%

Inflation rates in the GCC countries has increased between 0.73 percent and 2.96 percent by the end of March 2014 compared to previous March.

PTI| Updated: May 26, 2014, 14:30 PM IST

Dubai: Inflation rates in the GCC countries has increased between 0.73 percent and 2.96 percent by the end of March 2014 compared to previous March, according to a report.

An inflation report issued recently by the Statistical Centre for the Co-operation Council for Arab Countries of the Gulf said that Kuwait recorded the highest rate of inflation among the GCC member states registering an increase of 2.96 percent, followed by 2.6 percent for both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, 2.3 percent for Bahrain, 1.85 percent in the UAE.

Oman has registered the lowest rate of inflation with a 0.73 percent increase in the consumer price index.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

When compared to February 2014, the March inflation rates show a 0.3 percent increase in Kuwait and Qatar, 0.22 percent in the UAE and 0.2 percent in Saudi Arabia.

However, Oman recorded a 0.06 percent 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.

They include, Education increased by 4.39 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 6.24 percent in Oman, Food & Beverage prices in Bahrain went up by 5.6 percent, while Tobacco prices in Saudi Arabia increased by 6.4 percent.

Housing and Energy costs recorded highest increases in Qatar, growing by 5.7 percent, while costs for furniture and household goods in Kuwait grew by 4.83 percent.

The figures revealed decrease in the Medical Care group prices in the United Arab Emirates by 0.14 percent while Transportation costs in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were down by 0.8 percent and 3.0 percent respectively.

Communication costs in Oman decreased by 4.62 percent in the same period, while Miscellaneous goods and services in Qatar and Kuwait were respectively down by 2.2 percent and 2.38 percent.

Overall pan-GCC figures show that costs for education witnessed the highest growth, increasing by 6.24 percent in Oman, 5.0 percent in Bahrain, 4.39 percent in the United Arab Emirates, 4.06 percent in Kuwait and 3.7 percent in Saudi Arabia.