The government expects inflation to drop by 2% to 3% this year due to a variety of reasons including a fall in commodity prices and stability in the housing market, the Minister of Business and Trade HE Sheikh Fahd bin Jassim al-Thani has said.
Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, Sheikh Fahd said the prices of commodities including steel and cement have come down to affordable levels now. This is in line with the international trend.
Housing shortage, which was the key driver of inflation in Qatar, would be met considerably in the coming months with several units coming online, he said.
“Shortage of housing units was the key driver of the double-digit inflation in our country. The situation will considerably ease with many housing units coming online in the coming months,” Sheikh Fahd said.
While rents had fallen in certain segments, they still remained high in others, the minister pointed out.
“I hope the situation will improve and rents stabilise with several units coming on the market in the coming months,” Sheikh Fahd said.
Asked what rate of inflation the government hoped to see this year, Sheikh Fahd said, “I cannot give you a precise figure. Already there are signals of inflation dropping. We are waiting for the latest report on inflation.”
Qatar Statistics Authority data has indicated average inflation stood at 15.05% in 2008 compared with 13.76% the previous year. The average inflation for 2008 appears to have moderated somewhat after having hit a high of 16.59% in the second quarter mainly on costlier food products.
The government has already said tackling inflation remains the government’s top priority.
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