The cost of living in Qatar rose by 2.6 percent last month compared to the previous March, new data from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) has shown.
March was the third consecutive month that prices have gone up here, though the figures suggest the rate of the increases has slowed.
Once again, rent put the most pressure on the Consumer Price Index, rising 5.7 percent year-on-year when combined with fuel and energy costs. Almost every other category in the basket of prices also went up, including:
- Garments and footwear (3.5 percent);
- Furniture, textiles and home appliances (3.8 percent);
- Medical care and services (1.4 percent);
- Transport and communications (1.6 percent); and
- Entertainment, recreation and culture (2.1 percent).
Miscellaneous goods and services, which include the price of gold, fell 2.2 percent from the previous March.
While year-on-year prices reflect large cost increases, the change from February to March 2014 appear far less pronounced.
The price of furniture and home appliances, for example, rose only .1 percent from February to March of this year, while entertainment fell .2 percent.
Meanwhile, the cost of medical care stayed the same over the past three months – likely due to last year’s price freeze that the Supreme Council of Health imposed as it works to implement a new health insurance scheme.
More stable prices come after Qatar’s new Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, pledged to keep inflation down as the country moves forward with dozens of construction projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Still, rising costs have put many residents in a difficult position, with some deciding to move outside of the capital city of Doha to make ends meet. Meanwhile, a recent comparison of like-for-like costs across the GCC concluded that Qatar was the most expensive place to live in the region.