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Sun 16 Mar 2008 01:49 PM

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Transport costs driving Kuwait inflation

Rising oil prices hitting fuel costs, but prices will hopefully ease this year, minister says.

Inflation in Kuwait has been driven up by external factors such as rising transport costs due to record oil prices but prices will hopefully ease this year, the commerce and industry minister said on Sunday.

"Inflation is high... there is no doubt that inflation [in Kuwait] has been affected by global inflation, rising oil prices and a hike in transport [prices]," Falah Fahd Al-Hajeri told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

When asked whether inflation in the fourth-largest Middle Eastern oil exporter would fall this year, Al-Hajeri said: "God willing hopefully yes."

Inflation in Kuwait, the world's seventh-largest oil producer, rose to a record 7.3% in October.

The Kuwait government has raised subsidies on some food items and building materials such as steel and cement. (Reuters)

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