Kuwait April inflation at 4-month low on drop in food prices
Source: BI-ME with Reuters , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Fri June 1, 2012 10:39 am

KUWAIT. Kuwait's annual inflation eased to a four-month low of 3.3% in April and prices fell on a monthly basis for the first time in more than a year due to a drop in food prices, state news agency KUNA's data showed on Thursday.

Inflation in the major oil exporter edged up to 4.1% in March after easing gradually from a peak of 5.4% in May 2011.

Consumer prices in the OPEC member's $177 billion economy contracted 0.6 percent month-on-month in April, compared to a 0.8 percent rise in March, KUNA said citing data from the Central Statistics Office.

Analysts polled by Reuters in March expected average inflation of 4.5 percent in 2012, down from a three-year high of 4.8 percent last year.

Food costs, which account for almost a fifth of Kuwait consumer expenses, fell by 2.6 percent month-on-month in April, back down to February's levels after a similar jump in March. Transport prices edged up 0.2 percent from the previous month.

Around 3,000 Kuwaiti customs workers went on a week-long strike in March, which disrupted traffic at ports, demanding salary increases despite the government plan for a 25 percent rise in public wages. Employees at national carrier Kuwait Airways grounded planes for three days during a walkout.

Kuwait's civil service commission eventually agreed to wage rises of 25 to 30 percent for public sector employees. It also proposed increases of up to 330 Kuwaiti dinars ($1,190) per month for Kuwaiti private sector workers.

While the country's oil wealth enables it to absorb a spike in earnings in the short term, policymakers and economists warn price pressures will mount if settlements do not moderate.

Most Kuwaitis work for the state in well-paid secure jobs. Around two-thirds of Kuwait's roughly 3 million inhabitants are foreigners.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

date:Posted: November 25, 2014
INTERNATIONAL. In the end, it is unlikely that the territorial Islamic State can survive. The truth is that Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all waiting for the U.S. to solve the problem with air power and a few ground forces. These actions will not destroy IS, but they will break the group's territorial coherence.
date:Posted: November 25, 2014
BAHRAIN. The "increasingly deregulated and competitive economic environment is facilitating rapid growth in business development within the private sector."
date:Posted: November 25, 2014
INTERNATIONAL. Participants in the global oil market are eagerly awaiting the Opec meeting on November 27, which could potentially set the tone and the direction of oil prices.
INTERNATIONAL. In the end, it is unlikely that the territorial Islamic State can survive. The truth is that Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all waiting for the U.S. to solve the problem with air power and a few ground forces. These actions will not destroy IS, but they will break the group's territorial coherence.
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