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Sun 14 Aug 2011 05:24 PM

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UAE consumer prices rise at slower pace in July

Declines in housing and fuel prices drag country's inflation to 1.3% versus 1.7% in previous month

UAE consumer prices rise at slower pace in July
Inflation in the UAE slowed to 1.3 percent in July from 1.7 percent in the previous month (ITP Images)

Inflation in the UAE slowed to 1.3 percent in July from 1.7 percent in the previous month, as housing and fuel prices saw the biggest monthly drop in more than a year.

Housing, fuel, electricity and water prices fell 2.43 percent year on year, and by 1.6 percent from a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mail on Monday.

That’s the biggest monthly decline since December 2009, when prices dropped by 1.2 percent, Bloomberg data shows.

Consumer prices fell 0.16 percent from June.

“The rising supply of housing continues to pressure rents,” said Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s second-biggest bank.

“This downward pressure on rents will continue to have a moderating impact on overall inflation in the UAE.”

Property prices in the UAE have dropped by more than half since mid-2008 when the global credit crunch sent property markets around the world tumbling.

Rents in Abu Dhabi have fallen 40 percent since the market’s peak, Jones Lang LaSalle estimates.

Those in Dubai, the worst performing market in the Middle East for the past three years, have dropped 55 percent, according to Deutsche Bank AG.