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Posted On: 14 February 2012 08:31 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Rise in food, garment prices spurs inflation

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Qatar’s inflation, based on consumer price index (CPI), was up 1.2% year-on-year in January this year due to an across-the-board price rise and particularly in food, garments and transportation. The CPI for January 2012 was at 109.6 points, rather unchanged month-on-month (m-o-m) despite costlier garments and footwear, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) data. According to the International Monetary Fund, Qatar’s average inflation is expected to be 4%-5% in the medium term and risks related to it have risen due to an increase in public sector wages. The government had last year announced a 60% increase in the basic salary and social allowance for state civilian employees, a 120% rise for military personnel of officer ranks and a 50% increase for military personnel of other ranks. In addition, the pension of civilian retirees will increase by 60%, while the pension of retired military officers will rise by 120% and of other ranks by 50%. Food, Beverages and Tobacco, which has a weight of 13.20% in the CPI basket, surged 3.1% y-o-y in January even though it fell 0.5% from the previous month. Garments and footwear, which carry 5.80% in the CPI basket, saw their price spurt 5.40% y-o-y in January and it was up 1.60% from December 2011. Miscellaneous goods and services, which carry 7.20% weight, saw its group become costlier by 6.80% y-o-y in January. Its index increased by 2.30% from the previous month. “The rise in the group index was mainly due to the increases recorded in the acquisition of valuables,” the QSA spokesman said. Furniture, textiles and home appliances, which has a weight of 8.20% in the CPI basket, saw its group index shrink 0.40% month-on-month in January whereas it reported an expansion of 5% y-o-y. Entertainment, recreation and culture, which carry a weight of 10.90% in the CPI basket, saw its group index fall 0.10% in January from the previous month while it surged 5% y-o-y. Transport and Communication, which has a weight of 20.50% in the CPI basket, witnessed its index gain 2.30% y-o-y in January although it fell 0.20% from the previous month. Medical Care and Medical Services group, which has 2% weight, also reported a 2.30% increase y-o-y in January. It was down 0.50% from the previous month. However, rent, fuel and energy group, which is the most influential and carry the maximum weight of 32.20% in the CPI basket, saw its index decline 0.50% month-on-month in January. The index tanked 5.90% y-o-y. “After eliminating the effect of rent, the overall index shows an increase of 0.2% compared to the CPI of December 2011, and an increase of 4 % when compared to January 2011,” the QSA spokesman said. Gulf Times