The Sultanate recorded a sharp 2.38 per cent rise in the consumer inflation rate last month, the highest it’s been since since February 2012, according to a bulletin issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Inflation is defined as the general increase that is marked on the prices of various commodities and services, and the fall in the purchasing value of money.
The reasons attributed to this sharp increase – from the relatively low 1.8 per cent inflation rate in January 2017 – was the 9.33 per cent hike in the inflation rate for the transport sub-sector and a 2.05 per cent increase in the housing, water, electricity and other fuel sub-sectors.
During February, fuel prices in Oman stood at 186 baisas for M91, 196 baisas for M95 and 205 baisas for diesel.
In contrast, the month of March saw a rise of 2 and 3 baisas, respectively, for M95 and diesel.
Lata, an expatriate teacher residing in Oman, told Y: “People are definitely feeling the pinch. Instead of spending RO8 for fuel last year, I now spend RO11. That’s a steep increase.
“I’m not sure how things are going to be in the near future, but if this is a sign of things to come, I may have to pack my bags and leave for my home country [India],” she added.
Tobacco products also saw a sharp increase of 23.23 per cent, while the price of furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance went up by 1.86 per cent.
The education sector saw a rise of 2.85 per cent, while restaurants and hotels witnessed an overall increase of just 0.30 per cent.
Meanwhile, the inflation rate for foods and non-alcoholic beverages, and the footwear and clothing sub-segments showed a marginal decline of 0.10 per cent and 0.37 per cent, respectively. The price of bread and cereals fell 1.58 per cent, while meat rose by 0.22 per cent, and fish and seafood prices by 7.09 per cent.
Fruits and vegetables also recorded a fall in price by 2.88 per cent and 0.31 per cent, respectively, and health and communications sub-segments recorded a price fall of 0.13 per cent and 3.02 per cent.