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Sun 10 Jan 2010 11:47 AM

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Oman inflation eases to lowest level in five years

Sultanate's rate falls to 0.7% in Nov 2009, down from 13.7% in June 2008.

Omani inflation eased to 0.7 percent in November, the slowest pace in more than five years, the Sultanate’s Economy Ministry said.

The inflation rate fell from an annual 1.2 percent in October, the ministry said on its website today.

Inflation in the oil-exporting Gulf state has slowed from a high of 13.7 percent in June 2008, when oil prices reached $140 a barrel.

Inflationary pressures in the region have eased as the global financial crisis saw oil prices drop below $40 a barrel, and real estate prices plummet.

“Inflation has been easing since mid-2008 but I suspect we are at the lows,” Simon Williams, Dubai-based economist at HSBC Holdings said by e-mail.

“Growth is going to pick up in 2010, rates are going to be very low and the dollar is likely to stay weak which is likely to push Omani inflation back up to a 3-5 percent range.”

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