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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cost of living in Qatar forecast to be more steady in 2015

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After a year of rent increases and rising inflation, Qatar residents may be cheered to hear that the country’s cost of living is forecast to remain relatively steady in 2015.

A review of official government figures shows that inflation rose to its highest point of 2.8 percent in August, before leveling off to 3 percent toward the end of the year.

The main driver for inflation were increases in the cost of rental accommodation, domestic fuel and energy, which accelerated for 10 consecutive months, from 4.8 percent in January to a peak of 8.2 percent by October.

But according to the latest figures published by the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS), the increases in rental costs steadied to 7.6 percent by November 2014.

Forecasts

The figure is slightly higher than the 7 percent that Qatar National Bank predicted for rent increases by the end of 2014, according to its Qatar Economic Insight report released in September.

But overall, the rising rental costs is in line with the bank’s predictions.

It said that the ongoing population hike, coupled with increased land prices, would result in overall increases in the cost of rent through the latter half of 2014.

There is generally a lag of about six months before land price rises affect costs for consumers renting homes.

QNB has predicted that hikes in rent would continue for the next two years, but the pace of growth is expected to slow. By the end of 2016, the bank expects the figure to stand at around 8.5 percent.

Living costs

Rent makes up about one third of the average expat family’s monthly spend, and likewise accounts for a third of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The CPI is a measurement of cost of living and charts the change in real-time prices of a “basket” of common consumer goods and services compared to the same month the previous year.

The prices increases seen in 2014 have severely impacted the amount of money left for leisure and savings, many residents have said.

Fortunately, inflation has been slowing down since September. According to the MDPS, the CPI figures for October and November 2014 stood at 3 percent.

If the December figure, which hasn’t yet been released, remains at a similar level, then the inflation rate will be marginally less than what’s been forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In its World Economic Outlook report last October, the IMF forecast that Qatar’s CPI would rise and stand at 3.4 percent by the end of 2014, which would be the highest in the region.

However, the body said that 2015 would be a steadier year, which would end with a CPI of around 3.5 percent. QNB forecast a similar figure for inflation by the end of this year.

Samba Financial Group also holds a similar forecast, predicting “moderate inflation of 4 percent in 2015.” This would be driven by strong demographics and the sheer number of major infrastructure projects underway.

Still, international factors such as a slow-down in investment in China could stop prices from going up, the report added.

Food prices

Another factor that could help keep the daily cost of living in check here are food prices.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Earlier this summer, QNB said that falling food costs, due to bountiful harvests, are pushing down global food prices. In a country like Qatar, which imports more than 90 percent of its foodstuffs, this is good news.

“Since the country has virtually no domestic food production, lower international food prices are likely to continue to push Qatar’s food prices lower for the foreseeable future, albeit with a lag. This means that Qatar’s inflation should remain moderate at around 3.5% at least until the end of 2015,” the report added.

Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

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Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Locals: Remove the brokers handling your properties and do it yourselves. This would leave unemployed about half of Doha’s Keralite and Masri population but it’s a risk we’re willing to take.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

You want the horn to get your cigarette/karak culture to handle property rentals directly. Are you new to Qatar?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Of course just pull up outside your rented property and honk the horn until the expat comes out with the rental money…simple…

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Good idea :^)

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Locals: We never said that!

Gokul
Gokul
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

Of course you never said that.. Coco is writing that as an advise to locals.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Gokul

oh ok cool

Koko71
Koko71
6 years ago

OK.. rents are going up.. food going up… Salaries still the same.. so we are supposed to be happy that the expected rent and food prices are not going to be as high as expected… srsly?? i still pay more than i did 7 years ago for the same standard of everything… yet my salary has been the same for these 7 yrs.. Really??

GNR
GNR
6 years ago

One third of the salary only?? You sure?? For a person getting 12K per month…One third would be 4K. For a person living with his family and earning 12K, where would you get a decent one bedroom(say the least) for 4K..and to top it all Partition is a crime!!! Also, all people do not get 12K!! It takes at least around half your salary for paying rents…!! What is the point in building so many luxury apartments and then leaving them unoccupied for years? It would be better for these real estate masterminds to actually think of Budget apartments eyeing the Middle class and upper middle class expat community rather than just thinking about the highly paid guys!! I recently made an enquiry in a new apartment in Bin Mahmoud, and they casually told me that 1BR costs 7.5K, 2 BR for 10.5K and 3 BR for 12.5K!! If we have that money we could stay at the pearl!!!!!!!!!
GNR

anon
anon
6 years ago

didn’t the price increase towards the end of 2014, is so, doesnt that make the increase in 2015 steep while accounting for the last few months of 2014?

yesjay
yesjay
6 years ago

Cost of….Leaving!

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