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Mon 21 Mar 2016 01:57 PM

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Saudi inflation edges down in February from record high

Gulf kingdom's inflation rate falls to 4.2% as transport costs surge nearly 13%, housing costs by over 8%

Saudi inflation edges down in February from record high
Saudi money, Saudi currency, Saudi economy, Saudi finance, GCC currencies

Saudi Arabia's inflation edged down in February, after the rate hit its highest level since September 2012 in the previous month.

The rate remained high historically in February following a hike in gasoline prices in December.

Saudi Arabia's Central Department of Statistics released the February consumer price data on Monday, showing annual inflation at 4.2 percent, just 0.1 percent off its highest since the data series began in September 2012.

The government raised the price of 95 octane gasoline to 0.90 riyal ($0.24) per litre from 0.60 riyal in late December as part of austerity measures in the 2016 state budget. Prices for utilities were also hiked. 

As a result, transport costs surged 12.7 percent from a year earlier in February. Prices of housing and utilities climbed 8.2 percent while food and beverage prices rose 1.3 percent, according to the figures cited by Reuters.