Huge increases in education costs in Saudi Arabia have helped push inflation to its highest level in at least a year, according to the latest data from the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

Secondary school fees in the kingdom went up by 10.1% in August, driving the overall education costs to jump by 5.7%.

Prices at restaurants and hotels also jumped by 7.3% due to the high costs of catering services, which went up by 7.3%.

Overall, Saudi's inflation rose by 3%, the highest since August 2021, driven mainly by the 4% rise in food and beverage prices, which constitute more than 18% of the consumer basket.

The main driver of food inflation, meat prices, registered a 6.7% rise.

Overall transport costs jumped by 4%, mainly due to the 4.7% increase in purchase vehicle prices.

Other living costs that also pushed up Saudi's inflation were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices increasing by 2.5%. Housing rents alone went up by 2.7%.

Prices of a number of construction materials also went up, including aluminum (15.48%), electrical cables (11.07%) and iron-binding cables from China (10.5%).

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz)