SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia’s inflation rate slowed to 5.3% in April from 5.4% in the previous month as the cost of food and beverages declined.
Food and beverage prices slid an annual 4.3% in April from 5.1% in March, the Central Department of Statistics said on its website today. Goods and other services fell an annual 6.9% in April from 7.1% in March. Consumer prices rose 0.2% on a monthly basis.
Saudi government plans to spend more than US$500 billion have spurred inflation to the highest rate in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council. The council includes Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Pressure on prices in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, will continue into the second quarter, affecting rent, food and beverages, and commodities, the kingdom’s central bank said in a quarterly report posted on its website on May 10.
Housing, fuel and water costs accelerated an annual 9.2% in April from 8.9% in March, according to the Department of Statistics.