The cost of living in Qatar continued to rise in October, with inflation clocking in at 2.8 percent compared to the same month last year, according to figures just released by the Qatar Statistics Authority.
The major driver continues to be rising residential rental rates, which along with fuel and energy, jumped 6.2 percent from October 2012.
But nearly every other category showed price increases, including:
- Entertainment, recreation and culture (4.5 percent)
- Furniture, textiles and home appliances (3.8 percent); and
- Food, beverages and tobacco (2.6 percent).
But the cost of “miscellaneous goods & services” and “garments and footwear” fell by 4.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
In terms of prices in October compared to September of this year, costs rose almost across the board by an average of 1 percent.
Meanwhile, residents 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.
Qatar’s population stood at 2,024,707 million people at the end of last month, slightly behind record September figures, which tallied 2,035,106. And an additional 1 million people are expected to move here in the run-up to to the 2022 World Cup as major construction projects get underway.
Addressing the fact that the country’s infrastructure and services are straining under such a rapidly growing population, Qatar’s new Emir this month pledged to increase education and healthcare spending, as well as temper rising inflation rates and the subsequent increase in the cost of living.
Addressing the opening session of the Advisory Council in early November, Sheikh Tamim also acknowledged that Qatar’s economic growth rate is slowing, and that now is the time for the nation and its residents to exercise prudence and balance in their spending:
“Despite the high standard of living that we can provide, we must deal responsibly with our resources and our economy. This is not only about the next generation, but also the type of man we are keen on grooming at the present. Is he productive or just a consumer? Social responsibility, and (not leaning toward) irresponsible extravagance are among the attributes of the human personality that we want.”
Have you been affected by rising costs lately? Thoughts?