Central bank says annual inflation rate set to drop below 3% in first quarter of the year
Saudi Arabia's central bank expects the annual inflation rate to fall further below 3 percent in the first quarter of this year, it said in a report on Monday.
"The general inflation rate is expected to continue declining below 3 percent during the first quarter of 2014, in line with the fall of the inflationary pressures in the food and beverages group..." it said, citing commodity price index projections by the International Monetary Fund.
Consumer price growth in the world's top oil exporter has been easing gradually since hitting a peak of 4.0 percent in April 2013. It edged down to 2.9 percent in January this year, the lowest level since early 2007, from 3.0 percent in the previous month.
Analysts polled by Reuters in January expected average inflation in the OPEC member to remain steady at 3.5 percent in 2014 and climb to 4.0 percent in 2015.