Inflation eases in Bahrain, Kuwait

Two Gulf Co-operation Council member states – Kuwait and Bahrain – yesterday said annual inflation eased as food and beverage prices dropped from the year earlier. Annual inflation in Kuwait eased slightly to 11.1 per cent in July from 11.35 per cent in June, official data showed yesterday. All Items Consumer Price Index advanced to 131.1 points on July 31 compared with 118 points a year earlier, government data obtained by Reuters showed. Kuwait is the only Gulf state that does not peg its dinar currency to the dollar. Bahrain’s annual inflation slowed in September to 3.2 per cent from 3.3 per cent, as food and beverage prices dropped from a year earlier. Prices gained one per cent in the month, the government-run Central Informatics Organisation said in a monthly statistical report on its website. Food, beverage and tobacco prices declined seven per cent compared with a year earlier, the agency said. Bahraini inflation averaged about one per cent for the past decade, central bank Governor Rasheed Al Maraj said. Inflation has exceeded 10 per cent in five of the six GCC states, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE, Kuwait and Oman as oil-fuelled economic growth created shortages of housing and services. Agencies