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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Qatar deflation worsens and housing market slumps further

Isolation hurting investor sentiment and tightening liquidity in the banking system

Doha is looking to Tehran to improve trade links, including establishing a transport corridor to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan via Iran. Kamran Jebreili / AP
Doha is looking to Tehran to improve trade links, including establishing a transport corridor to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan via Iran. Kamran Jebreili / AP

Qatar’s consumer price deflation deepened in September as a downturn in the real estate market deepened because of economic sanctions imposed by other Arab states, official data showed.

Consumer prices fell 0.5 per cent from a year earlier last month, after a 0.4 per cent drop in August that was the first fall since at least early 2015, when the current data series began.

Housing and utility prices sank 4.7 per cent from a year ago in September, their biggest drop for at least several years, and fell 0.7 per cent from the previous month. In August, prices had slipped 4 per cent from a year earlier.

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Housing prices were already in a downtrend before June, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and others cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

But the sanctions have contributed to the slide by hurting investor sentiment, stifling demand among nationals from other Arabian Gulf states, and tightening liquidity in the banking system.

Food and beverage prices rose 3.6 per cent from a year earlier in September.

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