The inflation rates across the GCC region ranged between 3.1% and 0.8% over a 12-month period through December 2014, according to the latest reports by the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council for the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat).
The highest annual inflation rise was registered in the United Arab Emirates with 3.1%, followed by 3.04% in Kuwait, 2.7% in Qatar, 2.5% in Bahrain and 2.4% in Saudi Arabia. Oman registered the lowest rise, compared to the GCC countries, by 0.08%.
On a monthly basis when comparing the December figures to the November figures, the general consumer price index registered an increase of 0.97% in Kuwait, 0.34% in the United Arab Emirates, 0.2% in Bahrain, 0.1% in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand it registered a decline by 0.3% in Qatar and 0.08% in Oman.
When compared to December 2013 Foods and drinks prices registered an increase in most of the GCC countries by December 2014. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia registered an increase of 2.6%, following was Kuwait with an increase of 2.57%, Oman by 0.22%, United Arab Emirates by 1.33%. Meanwhile, Qatar registered a decline of 0.4%.
Figures showed an increase in Housing and utility prices in all the GCC countries in December 2014 when compared with 2013 figures. Qatar registered an increase of 7.3%, following was Bahrain by 6.1%, United Arab Emirates by 5.39%, Kuwait by 5.03%, Saudi Arabia by 2.5%, and a marginal increase by 0.38% in Oman.
Transport prices also increased in the GCC countries in December 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013. United Arab Emirates registered an increase of 1.82%, following was Kuwait by 1.54%, Saudi Arabia by 1.5%, Qatar by 1.2%, Bahrain by 0.5% and Oman by 0.31%.
As for the main consumer price categories in each of the GCC member state, statistics show an annual increase of 11.84% in the prices of tobacco in Kuwait, while the recreation and culture prices went up by 9.0% in Saudi Arabia. Housing and utility prices also increased in Qatar and United Arab Emirates by 7.3% and 5.39% respectively, whereas health services increased by 6.6% in Bahrain, and furniture and household goods in Oman grew by 5.8%.
In contrast, the major declines in December 2014 when compared to the same period during 2013 were registered in clothing and footwear by 1.03% in Oman, 0.64% in United Arab Emirates, 0.15% in Kuwait.
Telecommunication prices declined by 1.6% in Bahrain and 0.5% in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Foods and drinks and tobacco prices declined by 0.4% in Qatar.