Oman in­fla­tion surges to 19-month high

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

MUS­CAT: Oman's in­fla­tion rose to a 19-month peak of 4.2 per­cent year-on-year in Septem­ber as food and hous­ing costs picked up sharply, of­fi­cial data showed.

Price pres­sures in the Per­sian Gulf Arab re­gion have been grow­ing this year, rais­ing con­cern about ex­ces­sive price growth among gov­ern­ments.

Oman's has risen mainly on food and hous­ing costs, while higher crude prices have helped its trade bal­ance im­prove.

Con­sumer in­fla­tion ac­cel­er­ated to 4.2 per­cent year-onyear in Septem­ber, from 3.4 per­cent in Au­gust, data from the econ­omy min­istry showed.

Food, bev­er­age and to­bacco costs, which ac­count for more than a third of the in­dex, jumped 2.6 per­cent on a monthly ba­sis from 1.2 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous month.

"The biggest is­sue is food in­fla­tion, but this will de­cline a lit­tle in the com­ing months and any­thing re­lated to im­ported in­fla­tion as a re­sult of a weaker dol­lar is go­ing to re­verse be­cause now we are go­ing into a stronger dol­lar phase," said John Sfakianakis, chief econ­o­mist at Riyadh-based Banque Saudi Fransi.

Food in­fla­tion tra­di­tion­ally climbs dur­ing Ra­madan, which ended in mid-Septem­ber, when fam­i­lies en­joy larger and more elab­o­rate evening meals af­ter day­light fast­ing.

"In the be­gin­ning of the year, as a re­sult of the stronger dol­lar, some of the fac­tors, that helped push in­fla­tion up in the Per­sian Gulf, will be­gin to bring in­fla­tion at lower lev­els," Sfakianakis said, who ex­pected three per­cent in­fla­tion in 2011.

In­fla­tion stood at 1.7 per­cent in Jan­uary this year and is still down sharply from a record high of 13.7 per­cent reached in June 2008, be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

The coun­try's cen­tral bank gover­nor said in Septem­ber he was not much wor­ried about in­fla­tion which he said was a 'rea­son­able range'. Fur­ni­ture and hous­ing costs rose 0.2 per­cent month-on-month in Septem­ber, af­ter a 0.3 per­cent drop in Au­gust, data showed. -PB News

IS­LAM­ABAD: Fed­eral Min­is­ter of Petroleum and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Syed Naveed Qa­mar in a meet­ing with Ar­gen­tinean am­bas­sador, Rodolfo J Martin-Sar­avia. -App

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