Av­er­age in­fla­tion in first nine months pegged at 1.65 per cent

The year-on-year in­fla­tion rate in Septem­ber alone stood slightly lower at 1.6 per cent.

Times of Oman - - MARKET - A E JAMES

MUS­CAT: Oman’s av­er­age in­fla­tion for the first nine months of 2017 stood at 1.65 per cent, mainly driven by a sub­stan­tial in­crease in to­bacco prices and trans­port costs.

How­ever, the year-on-year in­fla­tion rate in Septem­ber alone, cal­cu­lated in terms of the con­sumer price in­dex, stood slightly lower at 1.6 per cent, shows the lat­est monthly sta­tis­ti­cal bul­letin re­leased by the Na­tional Cen­tre for Sta­tis­tics and In­for­ma­tion.

Price of to­bacco prod­ucts dur­ing the Jan­uary to Septem­ber pe­riod soared by 23.73 per cent, while trans­port costs rose by 5.27 per cent dur­ing the pe­riod. The Oman gov­ern­ment re­moved sub­sidy on fuel in Jan­uary 2016, caus­ing an in­crease in the prices of petroleum prod­ucts. For in­stance, Su­per Grade petrol (M95) cost 205 baisas in Oc­to­ber (against 120 baisas prior to re­mov­ing sub­si­dies), while Reg­u­lar Grade petrol (M91) costs 186 baisas now. A sim­i­lar in­crease was wit­nessed in diesel price as well. Other ma­jor prod­uct seg­ments that showed a growth in prices were ed­u­ca­tion, fish and seafood.

Cit­ing a re­port from the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, the Cen­tral Bank of Oman in its fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity re­port said the in­fla­tion rate cal­cu­lated in terms of the con­sumer price in­dex will be pegged at 4.1 per cent this year and will sta­bilise at around 3 per cent in 2020. How­ever, it is much lower than the 8 per cent in­fla­tion es­ti­mate for the en­tire Mena re­gion for 2017.

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