Qatar was a significantly more expensive place to live in February than it was at the same time last year, new figures from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (QSA) show.
The country’s Consumer Price Index – a “basket” of goods and services that reflects real-time prices – went up 2.7 percentage points between February 2013 and February 2014.
Certain sectors, including the real estate market, continue to play a large part in the rising cost of living here. According to the CPI, there was a 5.8 percent jump in the Rentals, Fuel & Energy category over the last year.
Three other sectors also showed a significant rise:
- Furniture, Textiles, and Home appliances rose 3.9 percent year-on-year;
- Entertainment, Recreation and Culture increased by 3.2 percent; and
- Garments and Footwear became 2.4 percent more expensive this year than last.
Transport and Communications (1.6 percent), Medical Care (1.4 percent) and Food Costs (1.8 percent) also increased year-on-year, the figures show.
Despite these rises, however, one sector – Miscellaneous Goods & Services – actually declined by 3.2 percent; largely due to a drop in the price of gold, the QSA states.
Rents (combined with energy and fuel costs, which fall into the same category) are one of the main drivers of the cost of living in Qatar, accounting for 32.2 percent of the CPI basket.
The second highest drain on family finances is Transport and Communications, with a share of 20.5 percent.
In recent years, residents have been feeling the pinch as a result of rising rental costs. Some have complained that housing allowances are not keeping pace with the rental rises, and some have begun moving out of Doha into surrounding areas with more affordable homes.
And a recent comparison of like-for-like costs across the GCC concluded that Qatar was the most expensive place to live in the region.
Have you been affected by price increases? Thoughts?