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Fri 13 Mar 2015 04:04 AM

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Dubai, Abu Dhabi inflation rates fall from six-year highs

Dubai's rate edges down to 4.3% in February despite sharp rise in housing, utility costs; Abu Dhabi rate falls to 4.6%

Dubai, Abu Dhabi inflation rates fall from six-year highs

Dubai's inflation rate edged down from near-six year highs in February despite a sharp rise in housing and utility costs, according to consumer price data released by Dubai Statistics Centre.

Inflation fell to 4.3 percent year-on-year from 4.5 percent the previous month, which was the highest level since May 2009.

Housing and utility costs, which account for almost 44 percent of consumer expenses, jumped 7.6 percent from a yearearlier in February and rose 0.7 percent from the previous month.

Food and beverage prices, which account for 11 percent of the basket, fell 0.6 percent year-on-year and edged up 0.2 percent month-on-month. according to the figures which were cited by Reuters.

February inflation in Abu Dhabi also dropped from its January level, which was the highest since at least January 2009, according to the Abu Dhabi Statistics Centre, easing to 4.6 percent from five percent.

Housing and utility costs, which account for nearly 38percent of the consumer basket, jumped 11 percent from a year earlier in February while food and beverage costs, which account for just over 16 percent, fell 0.7 percent year-on-year.

In January, it was reported that the UAE's inflation rate rose to its highest level since February 2009.

According to official data released by the United Arab Emirates National Bureau of Statistics, the country's year-on-year inflation rate rose to 3.1 percent in December, up from 2.8 percent the previous month.

The December figure was well above the average inflation rate of 2.33 percent in 2014, the bureau said, adding that the December inflation matched the rate in October, which was the highest for nearly six years.

In October, HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer 2014 survey said Bahrain, Qatar and Oman are more popular destinations for expats than the UAE because of the rising cost of living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The survey said that despite the offer of better job prospects and higher salaries, respondents said expats in the UAE continue to face "significant challenges due to the rising cost of living and expenses related to raising children".

Switzerland, Singapore and China ranked as the top three expat destinations, with Bahrain (5th) being chosen as the best place to set up a home in the Middle East.

The UAE was ranked 15th in the list, with Qatar (13th) and Oman (14th) both ahead of the country where Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been attracting expats from around the world for many years. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were ranked 28th and 29th respectively.

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