FINANCIAL NEWS

Saudi inflation to stay below 1.5% in Q1

22 Feb 2010

(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia’s central bank said in a report that housing will keep the kingdom’s inflation rising during the first three months of the year but it will not reach 1.5 percent, Reuters reported.

The report said that the stability cited in food prices will keep the country’s inflation below the 1.5 percent, which was recorded in the previous quarter.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) expected stability in food prices, except for sugar, which account for 26 percent in the weighting of the cost of living index used to track Saudi inflation. While the renovation, home rent, fuel and water group weighs 18 percent in living index.

Projections indicate that inflationary pressures in Saudi Arabia will continue during the first quarter of the year but at a slower rate than in the fourth quarter of 2009, Sama said in the report.

Inflation in Saudi Arabia dropped to 5.1 percent last year from 9.9 percent in 2008, which was the highest in more than two decades. Sama said that inflation over the 2004-2008 period averaged an annual 3.4 percent.

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