The cost of food and transport in Qatar continued to rise in August amid the ongoing Gulf dispute, according to new government figures.
But price drops in other categories such as housing, clothing and recreation offset those increases, helping the overall cost of living decline marginally year-on-year.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 108.3 in August, down .4 percent from the same month in 2016, the Ministry of Development Planning & Statistics (MDPS) said.
Price increases were still seen in four main categories, however.
They are: transport (6.3 percent); education (3 percent); food and beverages (2.8 percent); and health (2.8 percent).
In terms of food prices, Qatar saw an improvement in August from the 4.5 percent year-on-year jump seen in July.
Transport costs also increased at a lower rate last month than in July, when it jumped 7.5 percent.
The numbers could signify that Qatar is getting a handle on food and transport inflation caused by its neighbors’ economic boycott.
However, Qatar’s population fell to its annual low in August. This could mean that food prices didn’t rise as much because demand was lower last month than in July.
Notably, the cost of several other household expenditures continued to fall last month, offsetting any increases.
- Water, housing, electricity and fuel: Down 4 percent;
- Recreation and culture: Down 3.8 percent;
- Clothing and footwear: Down 3.1 percent year-on-year;
- Miscellaneous goods and services: Down 1.6 percent;
- Communication costs: Down 1.1 percent;
- Restaurants and hotels: Down 0.7 percent; and
- Furniture and household equipment: Down 0.7 percent.
The cost of housing has been falling for some time now, and is expected to continue doing so in the near future.
According to real estate agents DTZ, slower population growth and increased supply in some housing areas are the cause of the softening market.
This has translated into rent reductions of around QR1,000 a month in some parts of Qatar compared to the last quarter of 2016.