Qatar's cost of living, based on consumer price index (CPI), was on a downswing this May both year-on-year and month-on-month, apparently reflecting the price freeze due to Ramadan and lower demand owing to Covid-19-related social distancing measures, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).
Qatar's CPI inflation fell 3.12% and 0.58% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in May 2020, according to figures released by the PSA.
Before the onslaught of the pandemic, the International Monetary Fund, in its Article IV consultation with Qatar, said inflation is projected to peak at 3.7% in 2020 with the introduction of a value added tax, but converge to 2% in the medium term.
The index of recreation and culture sector, which has a 11.13% weight in the CPI basket, plunged 10.77% year-on-year, but flat month-on-month in May this year.
The index of transport, which has a 14.59% weight, tanked 6.11% and 1.24% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in May this year. The sector has the direct linkage to the dismantling of administered prices in petrol and diesel.
In May 2020, the price of super gasoline witnessed a year-on-year and month-on-month decrease of 48% and 19% respectively; premium by 44% and 20% and diesel by 46% and 19%.
The index of clothing and footwear, which has a 5.58% weight, tanked 5.58% and 0.43% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in May 2020.
The index of housing, water, electricity and other fuels – with a weight of 21.17% in the CPI basket – saw 3.94% and 0.36% fall year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in May this year.
The CPI of May 2020 excluding - housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels – fell 2.81% year-on-year and 0.64% month-on-month.
Communication, which carries 5.23% weight, saw its group index shrank 3.26% on yearly basis but treaded a flat course on monthly basis in May 2020.
In the case of furniture and household equipment, which has a 7.88% weight in the CPI basket, the index was down 0.69% on yearly basis but was up 0.1% month-on-month in May this year.
However, the tobacco index, which has a 0.28% weight, soared 4.41% year-on-year but unchanged on monthly basis in the review period.
Miscellaneous goods and services, with a 5.65% weight, saw its index surge 2.4% and 0.75% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in May 2020.
The index of health, which carries 2.65% weight, expanded 1.3% on yearly basis but was flat on monthly basis in May this year.
Education, with a 5.78% weight, saw its index gain 1.18% year-on-year but treaded a flat course on a monthly basis in May this year.
The index of restaurants and hotels, which has a 6.61% weight, grew 0.45% year-on-year; while it saw a 0.34% decline month-on-month in the review period.
Food and beverages, which has a weight of 13.45% in the CPI basket, witnessed a 0.15% increase year-on-year; while it plummeted 2.37% on a monthly basis in May 2020.