Qatar’s consumer prices drop 4.9% in 2009

17 Feb 2010

(MENAFN) Qatar’s consumer prices registered a 4.9 percent decline last year, as the Gulf state suffered its first full-year of deflation since 1993, amid the global economic turmoil and the plunge in property prices, Reuters reported.

Qatar’s price deflation was mainly aggravated by the end of a property boom, which sent rents sliding. Official data showed that the country’s rents and utility charges, which account for 32 percent of the consumer price basket, declined 12 percent in 2009, reversing a 19.7 percent hike in 2008.

The central bank expects prices to pick up in 2010 citing an economic recovery through the year.

Qatar depended on its oil riches to cushion the effects of the global financial crisis, with its economy growing 11 percent last year. However, the global crunch has put pressure on prices across the Gulf region, ending record high inflation which in Qatar peaked at 15.2 percent in 2008.

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