Annual inflation in Oman hit the highest level in 25 months in May due to a rise in food prices, data showed yesterday, while living costs in Saudi Arabia in June rose slightly from the previous month on food and housing components.
Inflation in the Gulf, the world's top oil exporting region, was expected to creep higher this year on robust global commodity prices, a weak dollar and increased government spending following unrest in the Arab world.
In Oman, annual inflation hit 4.4 per cent in May, the highest level since April 2009, data from the country's finance ministry showed, after a 4.1 increase in the previous month.
On the month, consumer prices grew 0.4 per cent in May, up from a 0.3 per cent rise in April. Analysts expected prices in the small oil producer to edge higher on robust global food and commodity prices as well as additional government spending to defuse social tensions.
"Food prices are still pretty close to all-time highs and it takes a while for these to get transferred to final consumers," said Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment in Saudi Arabia.
In Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, annual inflation also edged higher to 4.7 per cent in June, from 4.6 per cent in May, state news agency SPA reported yesterday, quoting data from the Central Department of Statistics. On the month, price growth was unchanged at 0.4 per cent for the third month in a row in June.
Analysts, however, see price pressures growing in the next month mostly due to the traditional pressure on food costs during Ramadan.
From / Gulf News