Increased expenses towards transport, utilities, education and recreation led Qatar's cost of living, based on consumer price index (CPI), rise 1.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in December 2016, according to official estimates.
The CPI inflation, however, fell 0.3% month-on-month (m-o-m), mainly on falling prices of food, recreation and miscellaneous goods and services, according to figures released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS).
Expecting average inflation in 2016 to inch up to 3%, the International Monetary Fund recently said that during 2017-18, subsidy cuts, increase in public fees, a moderate recovery in global commodity prices and the implementation of a value added tax (VAT) will drive inflation, which is slated to moderate to low levels over the medium term.
The transport sector, which has a 14.59% weightage, saw its group index surge 6.2% y-o-y in December 2016 and it showed the highest monthly increase of 0.6%. The sector has seen the dismantling of administered prices in petrol and diesel.
The recreation and culture segment, which has a 12.68% weightage in the CPI basket, saw its index soar 3.9% y-o-y in December last year although the index fell 1.5% against November 2016.
Education, with a 5.75% weightage, reported a 3% increase in December on an annual basis, while its index treaded a flat course m-o-m.
The index of miscellaneous goods and services, which has a 5.69% weight, witnessed a 2.8% surge y-o-y in December last year, even as its index shrank 1.3% against the previous month of 2016.
The furniture and household equipment sector, which has a 7.7% weightage in the CPI basket, recorded a 2.4% expansion in December 2016 on annual basis; whereas its was down 0.1% compared to November last year.
The clothing and footwear segment, which carries a 5.11% weight, saw its group index rise 1.7% y-o-y in December last year, while it fell 0.9% on a monthly basis.
The housing, water, electricity and other fuels group with a weight of 21.89% in the CPI basket registered a 1.1% gain in its index in December 2016 and it was up 0.1% m-o-m.
The CPI of December last year, excluding “housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels” showed an increase of 2% y-o-y and it was up 0.4% m-o-m.
The communication segment, which carries a 5.87% weight, saw its group index stay unchanged in December 2016 compared to the previous month's level; but it was up 0.1% y-o-y.
The food and beverage sector, which has a weight of 12.58% in the CPI basket, saw its group index decline 3.2% in December 2016 on annual basis; the measure fell 0.9% against November of the same year.
The index of restaurants and hotels, which has a 6.08% weight, shrank 1.8% y-o-y in December last year and the index was down 0.1% m-o-m.
The health sector, which carries a 1.79% weight, witnessed a flat path m-o-m in December 2016, while the index fell 0.8% y-o-y.
Tobacco, which has a 0.27% weight, stood unchanged both annually and monthly in December last year.