Rentals, fuel and energy get expensive

May 14, 2014 - 4:52:53 am

DOHA: Rising rentals coupled with increasing prices of furniture, textiles and home appliances are mounting inflationary pressure. Prices rose 2.8 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) last April driven largely by rents that soared 6.3 percent, figures released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) show. 

Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released by the Ministry for April reflect that in a month rents, and the prices of furniture, textiles and home appliances, each have increased 0.7 percent. The overall CPI of April 2014 increased by 0.2 percent compared to March 2014.

On month-on-month comparison, except food, beverages and tobacco and miscellaneous category, whose prices have witnessed a decline of 0.4 percent in April compared to March (2014), the cost of entertainment, recreation and culture services and the prices of garments and footwear (both in one group) have also been under pressure as all these two groups have shown an increase of 0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively. The cost of transport and communication services (both clubbed under one group) has shown the least increase of 0.1 percent in April compared to March this year. Interestingly, prices of healthcare services remained unchanged in April compared to March 2014. 

On year-on-year the cost of furniture, textiles and home appliances rose 5.1 percent, while that of entertainment, recreation and culture by 2.7 percent. Garments and footwear became 4 percent expensive in a year. Health services weren’t spared as they showed an increase of 0.6 percent in April 2014 compared to the same month in 2013. Rents, clubbed with energy and fuel, account for the largest weight of 32.2 percent in the CPI basket, followed by transport and communications, with a share of 20.5 percent — the latter also became 1.6 percent costlier.

The weight of food, tobacco and beverages in the CPI basket is 13.2 percent. The three categories (rents, food, transport and communications) put together account for three-fourth of the CPI basket.

Simply put, some 66 percent of a family’s monthly household expenses are incurred on rent, food and transport and communications alone. The Peninsula

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