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Saudi Arabia’s inflation rate increases in April to 5.3%

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The increase is primarily due to the rise in food and transport prices

Saudi Arabia’s inflation rate increased to 5.3 percent in April from 4.9 percent in March, while still reflecting an increase in value-added tax last year. The increase was primarily due to higher food and transport prices, the General Authority for Statistics said. It said, “Prices of food and beverages recorded the highest annual increase of 8.4 percent, mainly due to the increase in food prices.”

Every month, consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent. In 2020, the annual inflation was 3.4 percent, but it picked up in the second quarter after the authorities tripled the value-added tax to 15% to mitigate the losses because of Covid-19 and lower oil prices.

Last year, the inflation rate rose from 0.5 percent in June to 6.1 percent in July and reached its peak of 6.2 percent in August. It took a while to get back to a steady rhythm of 4.9 percent in March.

The General Authority for Statistics said that the Consumer Price Index indicates that the prices still indicate VAT increase and the increase in inflation is mainly due to the 8.4 percent rise in food and beverages and 14.9 percent increase in transport prices.

The food and beverage changes were primarily because of the increasing meat prices, which increased by 9.7 percent in April, and vegetable prices, which rose to 6.1 percent.

Looking at the transport sector, the inflation was primarily due to an increase in the price of new vehicles. Other sectors that also witnessed a price increase are telecommunications (up 13.5 percent), tobacco (13.1 percent), restaurants and hotels (8.3 percent), furnishings, household equipment and maintenance (7.4 percent), clothes and footwear (5.8 percent), and healthcare (3.3 percent).

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