By Victoria Scott
Although it’s still getting more expensive to live in Qatar, price increases are starting to slow down, new government figures suggest.
According to the most recent monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, the cost of living in Qatar rose by 1.8 percent between December 2016 and December 2015. That’s the lowest rate in more than a year.
The last time inflation was this low in Qatar was November 2015.
After that, rates increased significantly, peaking at 3.4 percent in April last year.
According to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, the cost of several categories have decreased year-on-year, helping to keep inflation low.
These include the price of:
- Food and drink, which was down 3.2 percent between December 2015 and December 2016;
- Health, down 0.8 percent; and
- Restaurants and hotels, down 1.8 percent.
All three of these areas have been becoming more affordable for some time.
For example, hotel prices first began to dip last April, while food prices started going down in October. Meanwhile, health costs began dropping in September.
However, it’s still more expensive to live in Qatar now than it was last year.
This is due to price rises in a number of areas, including transport, recreation and culture, education and furniture.
Transport has show the highest year-on-year increase, at 6.2 percent. It remains unclear why, as the MDPS doesn’t elaborate on the category changes.
Meanwhile, recreation and culture rose 3.9 percent; education, 3 percent; and furniture, 2.4 percent.
Meanwhile, housing and fuel increased by only 1.1 percent year-on-year, despite significant rises in the cost of petrol at the pumps.
This relatively small increase may reflect recent decreases in the cost of rented accommodation in some areas.
Are you feeling the benefit of price decreases, or are you struggling with your budget? Thoughts?