DOHA: The cost of living in the country has been increasing — the rise being 2.5 percent in the past one year — official data released yesterday for October 2010 to October 2011 show.
A matter of some concern is that while only house rents have fallen in the past year, almost everything else, including food, garments, transport and communications, entertainment and medical care, has all become expensive.
Rent prices have been providing some respite as they have declined 5.8 percent since October last year, but transport and communications became expensive by as much as 8.3 percent.
According to the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) which released consumer price index (CPI) figures yesterday, transport mainly became expensive because of the rise in the prices of auto spare parts.
Garments and footwear comprised the other category of goods that became quite expensive, the increase in their prices in the past one year being almost seven (6.9) percent. Entertainment and culture costs rose considerably (5.6 percent) too in one year with the costs of furniture, textiles and home appliances rising 5.4 percent.
However, a silver lining was that food items that have been showing an upward price curve for the past two years or so, witnessed the least price rise of all categories in the past year, the increase being 3.1 percent.
The QSA statistics suggest that even while comparing the CPI of October 2011 with those of the previous month (September 2011) the prices have risen, albeit by a marginal 0.4 percent.
The month-to-month comparison shows that the cost of education and training rose dramatically by 4.7 percent and even food items were not spared as they became at least 0.8 percent expensive over a month.
These increases were, though, partly offset by a 1.6 percent drop in house rents, while transport costs declined slightly (by 0.1 percent) due to declining prices of cars. The QSA said that a CPI exclusive of rent group has also been calculated and that shows that prices rose 5.8 percent in a year (from October 2010 to October 2011) and 1.2 percent in a month, from September 2011 to October 2011.