Lower Saudi inflation predicted for 2013

Updated 20 January 2013
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Lower Saudi inflation predicted for 2013

Saudi Arabia’s inflation this year is expected to reach 4.3 percent year-on-year down from 4.5 percent in 2012, say economic analysts.
“For 2013, we expect inflation to be mainly driven by rent and housing related services as well as food prices,” Fahad Alturki, senior economist at Jadwa Investment, said.
Jadwa said that rent and housing-related services maintained their gradual downward trend last month to 6.3 percent year-on-year, compared with 6.5 percent in the previous month.
Tamer El Zayat, senior economist at the NCB, said: “Inflation is likely to remain subdued, registering a similar 4.5 percent in 2013, largely driven by relatively weaker imported inflation.”
El Zayat said he believed that the foodstuff category will remain range-bound around 4-5 percent Y/Y for 2013. He added: “Additionally, codifying the approved mortgage law is expected to contain rental inflation below 8 percent.
Nevertheless, the robust growth in consumer loans will constitute an upside risk to headline inflation. SAMA is vigilant and although monetary policy is in autopilot mode, any excess liquidity or a breach of the 5 percent inflation rate will force the monetary authority to mop liquidity via the issuance of treasury bills.”
The Central Department for Statistics and Information released recently CPI data for December showing inflation remained at the 3.9 percent year-on-year level observed in the previous month.
The Jadwa report said monthly inflation slightly slowed to 0.2 percent in December compared with 0.3 percent in November. Fabrics and clothing posted the highest increase, 0.7 percent, but this has a relatively small weight in the CPI basket. Monthly rental inflation slightly increased to 0.4 percent compared with 0.3 percent in November. Food monthly inflation, however, decelerated to 0.2 percent in December from 0.7 percent the previous month; in line with trend of the international food prices.


Gaza officials: 20 Palestinians wounded at Israeli border

Updated 7 min 49 sec ago
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Gaza officials: 20 Palestinians wounded at Israeli border

  • Gaza’s Health Ministry says 20 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli fire along the border fence.
  • A few thousand Palestinians attended Friday’s rally near the border with a few dozen venturing toward the fence.

GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Health Ministry says 20 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli fire along the border fence.
A few thousand Palestinians attended Friday’s rally near the border with a few dozen venturing toward the fence.
Some launched flaming kites at Israel. The devices have destroyed forests and crops and killed animals in recent weeks in Israel.
The militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has led three months of protests that turned violent. Over 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
Israel says it is defending its border and nearby communities and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the fence and carry out attacks.
Rallies are aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.