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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Inflation in Qatar up, government mulls new price controls

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Cloth for sale

Qatar’s inflation rose last month, in part due high clothing prices, and is expected to continue rising, Reuters reports.

That said, the current inflation rate of 2.1% is much lower than neighboring Gulf countries, with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait facing rates as high as 5%.

In response to the rising rates, as well as public outcry, Qatar’s Consumer Protection Department is considering various options to keep inflation and price rises in check, the Peninsula newspaper reports.

One of the immediate – and more creative – responses the governmental body will be implementing is the distribution of automated kiosks at major malls for consumers to file complaints against retailers unfairly raising rates. That and a  public campaign for consumer protection will apparently be kicked off next week.

SALARY RISES

The Reuters report cites analysts saying salary increases would be another contributing factor to inflation, if minimal.

Global management consulting firm Hay Group echoes this idea in its latest report. Speaking to the Peninsula, Harish Bhatia, Manager of Reward Information Services at Hay, says:

“More spending and consumption will bring inflation over 12 to 14 months. What we will see is the increase in prices for every day commodity here…

“What we are seeing is the existing people getting more money, which can result in price hike on everyday goods as groceries and cars. It will be interesting to see how supply and demand plays out in the labour market which will become more complex as a result.”

So, watch this space, but expect prices to go up, at least a bit.

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