Consumer prices in Dubai fell at a 1.5 per cent annual rate in April and 0.2 per cent from March, extending deflation into a fifth consecutive month mainly due to a drop in food prices, data showed on Wednesday.
Dubai has seen prices fall by 1.4 per cent on average so far this year in its deepest period of deflation since prices jumped by record 10.8 per cent in 2008.
Annual falls hit 1.9 per cent in March as the property market remains flooded with new residential units.
The month-on-month price fall in the Gulf trade and business hub was the smallest fall since December, the data released by Dubai Statistics Center showed.
Costs of housing including rents and utilities dipped by 0.1 per cent month-on-month in April, which was the smallest decline this year. The item, which accounts for nearly 44 per cent of consumer expenses in the coastal desert emirate, dropped by 1.3 per cent in March.
Dubai house prices may finally stop falling this year, a Reuters poll showed this month, although a glut of oversupply will dog the market for some time and keep property developers away.
But food prices in Dubai's $82 billion economy dived 1.6 per cent in April compared with the previous month, the most in three months, while transport costs were flat, the data also showed.
In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, which accounts for almost all of the UAE crude production, inflation accelerated to a nine-month high of 1.8 per cent in April with prices rising 0.2 per cent month-on-month, data showed last week.
The UAE, one of the world's top five oil exporters, is yet to release April inflation data for the whole federation.
Its hydrocarbon-reliant economy is expected to see a slower growth of 3.1 per cent this year after an IMF estimated 4.9 per cent in 2011 due to a global slowdown and weak domestic bank lending