Lower expenses, especially towards communication, food and beverages, clothing and housing, edged down Qatar's cost of living based on consumer price index (CPI) 0.29% year-on-year in December 2018, according to the official data.
The CPI-based cost of living was up a marginal 0.1% on a monthly basis on increased expenses towards recreation and transport, the Planning and Statistics Authority data suggest.
Highlighting that headline inflation remains subdued; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after its officials concluded their visit to Qatar, said the proposed restructuring in the fiscal space, including taxation, may slightly lift price levels in the future.
The IMF, in its latest Article IV consultation with Qatar, viewed that inflation is expected to peak at 3.9% in 2018 before easing to 2.2% in the medium term.
Communication, which carries 5.87% weightage, saw its group index plummet 11.31% year-on-year December 2018 but remained unchanged month-on-month.
The index of clothing and footwear, which carry 5.11% weightage, plunged 5% and 8.22% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in December 2018.
Food and beverages, which has a weightage of 12.58% in the CPI basket, witnessed 3.73% and 2.15% shrinkage in its group index year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in November previous year.
The index of Housing, water, electricity and other fuels – with a weightage of 21.89% in the CPI basket – tanked 2.58% year-on-year in December 2018 and it was down by a marginal 0.02% on a monthly basis.
The CPI of December 2018, excluding “housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels” showed an increase of 0.29% and 0.14% on yearly and monthly basis respectively.
Recreation and Culture, which have 12.68% weightage in the CPI basket, saw a 1.35% decline on a yearly basis but saw a stupendous 3.92% surge against November 2018.
However, Education, with 5.75% weightage, saw its index expand 9.2% year-on-year in December last year and was unchanged month-on-month.
Transport, which has 14.59% weightage, saw its group index vault 5.49% and 1.72% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively. The sector has the direct linkage to the dismantling of administered prices in petrol and diesel, which have witnessed sustained increase in the recent past as part of lessening the subsidies.
The index of health, which carries 1.79% weightage, soared 3.37% on a yearly basis and it was unchanged on a monthly basis.
Furniture and household equipment, which have 7.7% weightage in the CPI basket, saw its index grow 1.66% compared with December 2017; while it was flat month-on-month.
The index of Restaurants and Hotels, which have 6.08% weightage, was up 0.42% on a yearly basis, while it was down 0.1% on a monthly basis in December 2018.
Miscellaneous Goods and Services, which have 5.69% weightage, saw its index fall 0.4% year-on-year; whereas it soared 0.46% on a monthly basis in December previous year.
Tobacco, which has 0.27% weightage, stood unchanged both annually and monthly in December 2018 but expected to expand with the government increasing tax on it by 100%.
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