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: August 29, 2014
KUEAIT. There is plenty of potential in the Kuwaiti market, should investor interest remain and the government carries out its proposed spending plans. The government's 2014/15 budget is expansionary, with expenditure growth of 3.2% to US$77.3 billion.
date:Posted: August 28, 2014
SAUDI ARABIA. The Saudi Arabian index is the region's most diverse capital market due to its size and maturity; Jadwa Investment views the opening up of the Tadawul as an overall positive but believes a cautious and considered path to reform is the best way forward, much like the Chinese example.
date:Posted: August 28, 2014
LEBANON. The results of the Byblos Bank/AUB Consumer Confidence Index show a marginal improvement in January and February, picking up pace in March and April, and regressing in May and June 2014.
KUEAIT. There is plenty of potential in the Kuwaiti market, should investor interest remain and the government carries out its proposed spending plans. The government's 2014/15 budget is expansionary, with expenditure growth of 3.2% to US$77.3 billion.
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