The inflation rate in Oman recorded an increase of 0.73% in March 2014 when compared with the same period in 2013, however on a monthly basis the March rate witnessed a decline of 0.06% against the February figure.
The inflation report issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) details the factors underlying the increase in the inflation rate in March 2014, when compared to March 2013. Food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 2.42%, while housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels grew by 1.38%. Education costs recorded the highest increase of 6.24%. Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants costs increased by 1.25%, furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance grew by 1.44%. In addition, clothing and footwear grew by 0.34%, health costs rose by 3.51% and recreation and culture costs by 0.48%.
On an annual comparison basis, price reductions were recorded for communication costs, which decreased by 4.62%, transport costs were down by 1.26%, while goods and services prices dropped by 0.05%.
The CPI report however reveals a declining inflation rate when viewed on a monthly basis, as the March rate witnessed a decline of 0.06% against the February inflation figure. The decrease is attributed to a monthly decline in food and non-alcoholic beverage prices by 0.22%. Within this category, the vegetables group recorded a decline of 4.73%, which was the main contributor in the overall decline of the food and non-alcoholic beverage group. The second contributor in the price reductions were fish and sea food which dropped by 2.15%, followed by the bread and cereals category with prices dropping by 0.13% and milk, and the cheese and egg group with prices down by 0.08%.
On a month by month basis, transport costs also declined by 0.06%. On the other hand, other CPI price categories grew by a modest degree, while other groups remained stable. Furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance grew by 0.03%, clothing and footwear grew by 0.02%. In addition, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels grew by 0.01%.
Recreation and culture group, health, communication, education and goods and services costs were stable in March 2014 versus February 2014.
The NCSI report also revealed that the first quarter of 2014 recorded an overall inflation rate increase of 0.82%. The increase is due to the increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages prices by 2.78%, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel costs grew by 1.38%. Furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance also grew by 1.43%, health costs by 3.51%, education costs by 6.24%, clothing and footwear by 0.6%, hotels and restaurants costs by 1.22%. Meanwhile, communication costs declined by 4.62%, transport costs also declined by 1.24%, recreation and culture group by 0.16% and services and goods dropped by 0.15%.