Muscat: The prices of consumer goods and services, excluding housing, in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries rose 4.2 per cent over a 12-month period ending June 2018, according to figures released by the Statistical Centre for the Cooperation Council of the Arab Countries of the Gulf (GCC-Stat).
Tobacco prices saw the largest increase over the period at 20.5 per cent, followed by transport (9.4 per cent), restaurants and hotels (5.9 per cent), recreation (4.0 per cent), food (3.7 per cent), education (2.9 per cent), health (2.5 per cent), communication and miscellaneous (2.1 per cent each), and furnishings (2.0 per cent).
Prices of clothing and footwear, on the other hand, fell by 1.3 per cent.
In terms of contributions to the 4.2 per cent collective annual increase, transport contributed 1.5 percentage points, while food accounted for 1.0 percentage points, restaurant and hotels 0.5 percentage points, education 0.3 percentage points, and tobacco, furnishings, recreation and miscellaneous goods and services contributed 0.2 percentage points each. Meanwhile, health and communications accounted for 0.1 percentage points each and clothing and footwear contributed 0.1 percentage points.
The United Arab Emirates led per-country contributions to overall GCC consumer price changes over the same period, with 2.1 percentage points, while Saudi Arabia contributed 1.7 percentage points, and Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait accounted for 0.1 percentage points each.
Overall consumer prices in the GCC increased by 0.6 per cent in June 2018, compared to the previous month, with the most significant hike being in transport, which rose 1.4 per cent. This was followed by food (1.0 per cent), clothing and footwear (0.8 per cent), recreation (0.3 per cent), and furnishings (0.2 per cent). In contrast, communications and miscellaneous good and services fell by 0.1 per cent each.