MUSCAT: The Sultanate’s year-on-year consumer inflation in March touched 2.82 per cent, on the back of a 10.83 per cent rise in transport cost along with a 2.19 per cent price increase in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels. According to the latest consumer price index report from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 0.36 per cent, while tobacco prices surged 24.38 per cent. Cost of clothes and footwear went up 0.01 per cent, and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance prices increased 1.53 per cent in March, compared with prices last year.
Cost on health and communications registered a price fall of 0.13 per cent and 3.02 per cent respectively. However, recreation and culture, as well as education saw rise in cost by 0.49 per cent and 2.85 per cent, while eating in restaurants and hotels shot up by 0.38 per cent. Prices of miscellaneous goods and services went up 1.59 per cent. In the food and beverages section, bread and cereals prices fell by 1.29 per cent, while meat prices rose 0.45 per cent. Fish and seafood too logged a price rise of 4.77 per cent, while cost of milk, cheese and eggs declined 2.01 per cent.
Prices of oils and fats and fruits fell by 0.18 per cent and 1.17 per cent respectively, in contrast with a 3.12 per cent rise in the cost of vegetables. Sugar, jam, honey and confectionary prices went up by 0.33 per cent, whereas other food products prices declined by 0.44 per cent. Price of non-alcoholic beverages registered a rise of 0.51 per cent rise in March compared with prices for the same month last year. — ONA