Qatar's cost of living, based on consumer price index (CPI), declined 3.41% year-on-year this July; reflecting the weakened demand, especially for recreation and transport, even as Doha partially lifted the restrictions due to the pandemic, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).
The country's CPI inflation was down 0.23% month-on-month in the review period, said the 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, which has 11.13% weight in the CPI basket, plunged 21.23% and 5.76% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in July this year.
The index of transport, which has a 14.59% weight, tanked 2.94% on a yearly basis; even as it grew 1.35% on a monthly basis this July. The sector has the direct linkage to the dismantling of administered prices in petrol and diesel.
In July 2020, the retail price of super, premium gasoline and diesel saw a year-on-year 31%, 35% and 41% plunge respectively; even as they increased 14%, 9% and 5% respectively month-on-month.
The index of clothing and footwear, which has a 5.58% weight in the CPI basket, shrank 4.37% and 1.48% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in July 2020.
The index of housing, water, electricity and other fuels – with a weight of 21.17% in the CPI basket – saw a 4.86% and 1.27% contraction on a yearly and monthly basis respectively this July.
The CPI of July 2020 excluding “housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, fell 2.93% year-on-year; while it was up 0.04% on a monthly basis.
Communication, which carries 5.23% weight, saw its group index shrank 0.81% on a yearly basis but jumped 1.77% on a monthly basis in July 2020.
Food and beverages, which has a weight of 13.45% in the CPI basket, witnessed a 0.27% and 0.38% shrinkage year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in July 2020.
However, the tobacco index, which has a 0.28% weight, soared 8.87% year-on-year but unchanged on a monthly basis in the review period.
The index of restaurants and hotels, which has a 6.61% weight, shot up 4.29% and 4.69% on yearly and monthly basis respectively this July.
In the case of furniture and household equipment, which has a 7.88% weight in the CPI basket, the index soared 1.26% and 0.47% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in July 2020.
Miscellaneous goods and services, with a 5.65% weight, saw its index expand 1% and 0.5% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in July this year.
The index of health, which carries 2.65% weight, grew 0.95% on a yearly basis but fell 0.21% on monthly basis in July 2020.
Education, with a 5.78% weight, saw its index gain 1.14% year-on-year but was down by a marginal 0.06% on a monthly basis this July.