Saudi inflation holds steady at 1.8% in February: GASTAT


Saudi Arabia's inflation rate stood at 1.8 percent in February, compared to 1.6 percent in the previous month, as per official data.

The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) reported that the monthly consumer price index in February was primarily influenced by the prices of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, which increased by 1.2 percent compared to the previous month. This increase was attributed to a 1.4 percent rise in actual rents for housing.

"Prices for rents were the main driver of the inflation rate in February 2024 due to their high relative importance in the Saudi consumer basket with a weight of 21 percent," stated GASTAT.

In February, expenses for food and beverages decreased by 0.4 percent month-on-month, while transport prices dipped by 0.3 percent. Recreation and cultural prices increased by 0.2 percent, followed by costs for personal goods and services, which went up by 0.1 percent.

On the other hand, prices of education, restaurants, hotels, and health services did not show any significant change in February compared to January.

Compared to February 2023, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel prices increased by 8.5 percent last month, while rates for food and beverages rose by 1.3 percent. Similarly, restaurant and hotel prices surged by 2.5 percent, driven by a rise in expenses for catering services by 2.2 percent.

GASTAT revealed that costs for education went up by 1.2 percent in February due to the increase in secondary education prices, which soared by 4.3 percent.

In contrast, household equipment and maintenance prices decreased by 3 percent in February compared to the same month of the previous year. Additionally, clothing and footwear prices declined by 4 percent, while transport rates dipped by 0.9 percent.

In another report, GASTAT mentioned that Saudi Arabia’s Wholesale Price Index (WPI) increased by 3.1 percent in February compared to the same period in 2023. This rise in WPI was driven by the prices of refined petroleum products and basic chemicals, which went up by 12 percent and 10.8 percent respectively. Similarly, the Kingdom’s WPI decreased by 1.2 percent in February compared to the previous month, driven by a fall in the prices of other transportable goods, which went down by 3.2 percent.

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