Saudi Arabia: Inflation holds steady at an over four-year high in February
March 21, 2018
Consumer prices rose 0.1% from the previous month in February, decelerating sharply from January’s all-time high increase of 3.9%. The moderation largely reflected lower prices for transport and recreation and culture largely offsetting higher prices for food and beverages, and restaurants and hotels. That said, February’s soft reading comes after the introduction of a 5% Value-Added Tax (VAT) and government hiked domestic gasoline prices in January, which pushed up last month’s figure considerably.
Inflation was stable at January’s 3.0% in February, the highest reading in over four years. Meanwhile, the annual average variation in consumer prices rose to minus 0.3% in February from minus 0.5% in January.
Last month, the General Authority for Statistics changed the base year for the consumer price index from 2007 to 2013 and adjusted the basket of goods and services.
Author: Javier Colato, Economist