|23 January, 2020

UAE cost of living: Consumer prices fall in 2019

Household spending on essentials at low levels due to cheaper housing, utility costs

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates Currency notes.

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates Currency notes.

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The UAE’s consumer price index (CPI), which measures the costs of goods and services, has dropped 0.8 percent in 2019 from the previous year.

The continued decline in property rents and sales prices, and costs of water, electricity, fuel and gas, have kept UAE inflation in check.

According to the Statistics Centre, Abu Dhabi (SCAD), the largest contributor to the overall decrease in consumer prices in 2019 were the costs of housing, gas and utilities, which posted a decline of 3.7 percent.

Another contributing factor was transportation cost, which decreased by 5.3 percent in 2019 compared with the previous year.

UAE households were also able to keep expenditures on food consumption at low levels, with the food and beverages group in the CPI dropping by 2.1 percent.

However, household expenditures on non-essentials rose. According to SCAD, the prices of the “recreation and culture” category in the CPI climbed by 24.6 percent in 2019.

The costs of renting and buying a home in the UAE have been on a decline since the oil prices started falling in 2014.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently revised the UAE’s 2019 growth outlook from 2.8 percent in April 2019 to 1.6 percent.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.Maceda@refinitiv.com

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© ZAWYA 2020

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