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Wed 22 Mar 2017 02:14 PM

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Deflation in Saudi Arabia eases in February

First deflation seen in Gulf kingdom for more than a decade was recorded earlier this year

Deflation in Saudi Arabia eases in February

The first deflation seen in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade eased in February, according to the country's Central Department of Statistics.

Inflation turned negative in the Gulf kingdom in January with figures showing that prices fell by 0.4 percent compared to a rise of more than four percent in January 2016.

February's figures showed deflation easing to -0.1 percent. The continuing fall in prices was driven by food and beverage prices which fell 3.4 percent from a year earlier in February, partly because of a strong US dollar, to which the Saudi riyal is pegged.

Prices of housing and utilities rose 1.4 percent but transport costs decreased 2.7 percent, the figures also showed.

Last month, Jadwa Investment said consumer price deflation in Saudi Arabia is likely to be short-lived.

In its latest research note, Jadwa said government initiatives aimed at stimulating private sector activity should have a positive impact on aggregate demand, and therefore inflation.