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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Education drives inflation to 2.4% in Oman

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Muscat: Education accounts for the highest component of the inflation, which rose to a modest 2.4 per cent in May compared to the corresponding month in 2021.


According to figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information, the increase in the consumer price index in May 2022 was due to the increase in the prices of major groups such as education by 5.1 per cent and food and non-alcoholic beverages by 5.0 per cent.


Surprisingly, transportation increased only by 3.5 per cent, while the health group rose by 2.8 per cent and the miscellaneous goods and services group by 1.5 per cent.


Inflation decreased to 2.67 per cent in April 2022 from 3.6 per cent in March 2022. The Sultanate of Oman’s annual inflation was recorded at 4.0 per cent in February and 4.4 per cent in January this year.


In its recent report, the International Monetary Fund expressed its satisfaction over Oman’s efforts in containing inflation.


“Inflation turned positive to 1.5 per cent in 2021 and is projected to increase to 3.7 per cent in 2022, given rebounding economic activity and rising global inflationary pressures," it said in the report.


However, the report expressed its concern over uncertainties and downside risks which continue to cloud the outlook.


“Downside risks stem particularly from uncertainty about the war in Ukraine, a renewed flare-up of Covid-19 infections and higher global food and energy prices may lead to increased inflationary pressures," it said.


At the governorate level, North Al Batinah and South Al Sharqiyah governorates witnessed the highest rate of inflation during the month of May 2022 by 2.9 per cent, followed by Al Dakhiliyah Governorate by 2.8 per cent.


They were followed by Al Buraimi Governorate by 2.6 per cent, Dhofar Governorate by 2.4 per cent, Al Dhahirah Governorate by 2.0 per cent, followed by the Governorate of Muscat with 1.9 per cent.


Other groups in the Consumer Price Index were the culture and entertainment group by 1.5 per cent, the restaurants and hotels group by 1.3 per cent, the furniture fixtures and household equipment and regular household maintenance group by 0.7 per cent.


The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel groups, however, rose only by 0.7 per cent, and the clothing and shoes group by 0.4 per cent. Tobacco group by 0.1 per cent.


According to the data of the National Centre for Statistics and Information, the index and prices of oils and fats increased by 17.2 per cent, fish and seafood by 7.3 per cent, vegetables by 6.9 per cent, meat by 6.7 per cent, fruits by 6.6 per cent, and the prices of bread and cereals by 2.7 per cent.


The prices of sugar, jam, honey and sweets by 1.9 per cent, milk, cheese and eggs by 1.5 per cent, other foodstuffs by 1.2 per cent, and the prices of non-alcoholic beverages by 0.3 per cent.


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