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Consumer prices post their first advance in five months

Consumer prices in the Emirates posted a slight gain last month after four straight declines, indicating inflation is under control for the time being.

Consumer prices in the Emirates posted a slight gain last month after four straight declines, indicating inflation is under control for the time being. The price of a basket of consumer goods and services rose 0.2 per cent last month from the same period a yearago, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

Prices gained 0.4 per cent compared with the previous month. Inflation for the first 11 months of the year was 1.7 per cent, the bureau said. Inflationary pressures are expected to slowly increase next year due to higher food prices and the anticipated weakness of the US dollar. Crude oil, the main UAE export commodity, is priced in dollars and the US currency's weakness makes imports more expensive.

Furniture and household goods experienced the biggest gains in November as prices increased 4.8 per cent, while there were slight decreases in housing and transportation costs. Beverages and education have experienced the biggest price increases this yearHOW MUCH???NEED FIGURE TO COUNTERBALANCE HOUSING FIGURE, while housing costs, which make up nearly 40 per cent of the consumer price index, have gained just 0.7 per cent.

The UAE was beset with soaring inflation prior to the financial crisis because of high oil prices which dispersed wealth across the GCC. Inflation in the UAE was 10.8 per cent last year and 19.6 per cent the year before, the Ministry of Economy said. Across the seven emirates, Ras al Khaimah registered the steepest increase in the consumer price index for the first 11 months of this year, with prices rising by 1 per cent. Prices slipped the most in Umm Al Quwain, falling 0.5 per cent. Prices edged up 0.1 per cent in Abu Dhabi and dropped 0.1 per cent in Dubai.

@Email:tarnold@thenational.ae

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