Qatar Q3 inflation hits 13.7 per cent


Rents and utility costs, which comprise one category in the index, surged 28.8 per cent in the third quarter, compared with 27 per cent in the previous three months, according to data from the government’s Planning Council.

The general index was at 153.61 points at the end of September, compared with 135.06 points a year earlier — its second-fastest pace of growth in at least four years, the Planning Council said. The household consumption component of the index rose 13.73 per cent in the third quarter and clothing prices jumped 14.01 per cent, the data showed.

Food, beverages and tobacco costs climbed 6.59 per cent, the council added.

The dollar’s tumble to record lows is hurting the Qatari economy, which fixes the exchange rate of its riyal to the U.S. currency, the Gulf Arab state’s prime minister said this month.

Growing expectations that Qatar and four of its neighbours would drop their dollar pegs or revalue their currencies to help contain escalating inflation pushed the Qatar riyal to a five-year high last week.

Inflation in Qatar, holder of the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves, hit a record 14.81 per cent at the end of March.

Inflation has been rising mainly because of surging demand for housing and office space as the economy has expanded, spurred by a five-fold increase in oil prices since 2002. Qatar is ploughing record revenues from energy exports to develop infrastructure, tourism and financial services.

The country is considering laws, including real-estate market regulations, to tackle inflation, Amir of Qatar His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said this month.

Central Bank Governor Abdullah Saud Al Thani said in September he was confident inflation would fall to 10 per cent within a year as property prices ease.

Qatar’s central bank has repeatedly ruled out changing currency policy, even after Kuwait, another Gulf oil producer, dropped its dollar peg in May, saying the sliding U.S. currency was driving up import costs and fuelling inflation.

Qatar gets around 50 per cent of its imports from the euro zone, according to Calyon Credit Agricole.



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