Oman’s CPI inflation averaged 1.8% y/y in January-July, the same as at end-June, despite rising food prices, which were offset by cooling transport costs and subdued housing charges, the statistics office said.
Food beverages and tobacco prices (30.4% of the index) rose 2.2% y/y over the period, ticking up from 2.0% at end-June despite high fresh produce costs. In July alone, food prices increased 2.8% m/m on unfavourable seasonal factors and strong local demand during the fasting month of Ramadan. Cereals prices fell 0.5% y/y in January-July whereas those of meat and poultry increased 1.7%. Fruit costs rose 3.4% and those of fresh vegetables climbed 9.0%. Education costs climbed 18.9% y/y over the period.
Housing and food and transports charges have remained relatively subdued in January-July, helping keep Oman’s CPI inflation among the GCC’s lowest.
Transport prices (22.2% of CPI) rose 1.7% y/y, down from 1.9% at end-June. Housing costs (21.4% of the basket) increased 0.9%. Rent charges rose 1.1% over the period.
Oman’s CPI inflation will average 3.1% in 2013, the IMF said in its latest Article IV report.
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