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 26, 2014
INTERNATIONAL. Is it time to stop thinking about stabilizing Syria and Iraq and start thinking of a new dynamic outside of the artificial states that no longer function? To do this, we need to go back to Lebanon, the first state that disintegrated and the first place where clans took control of their own destiny.
date:Posted: August 25, 2014
INTERNATIONAL. Commodities have been generally flat on the week as a rise in industrial metals was offset by losses across other sectors such as metals and grains.
date:Posted: August 25, 2014
UAE. With its oil wealth, population growth and strong demand for industrial and consumer goods, the MENA region is an attractive market. There are, however, potential pitfalls in doing business, particularly when it comes to appointing local agents to distribute products in the region.
SAUDI ARABIA. Strong demand fundamentals combined with increased public and private sector spending pushed up the average sales price; Momentum expected to continue as Riyadh attracts and promotes investment in industrial and supporting logistics facilities.
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