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Tue 23 Feb 2016 01:57 PM

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Saudi inflation jumps to new high on gasoline price hike

Inflation rate in Gulf kingdom rises to 4.3% in January, its highest level since data series began in September 2012

Saudi inflation jumps to new high on gasoline price hike
Saudi money, Saudi currency, Saudi economy, Saudi finance, GCC currencies

Saudi Arabia's inflation rate jumped to 4.3 percent in January, its highest level since September 2012 following a hike in gasoline prices in December.

Saudi Arabia's Central Department of Statistics released the following January consumer price data on Tuesday, showing annual inflation at 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 12.6 percent from a year earlier in January. Prices of housing and utilities climbed 8.3 percent while food and beverage prices rose 1.3 percent, according to the figures cited by Reuters.

The jump in inflation rate comes as growth of Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector eased in January, continuing the trend seen through much of the latter part of 2015.

Business conditions improved at the weakest pace in the survey's six-and-a-half year history, with a muted rise in new work the key factor behind the slowdown, according to the latest Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers' Index.

Total new business was restricted in turn by a negligible increase in new export orders.