RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s inflation rate rose 0.2 percentage points month-on-month in January 2023 in a sign the Kingdom is getting to grips with the price increases sweeping the globe, according to data released by the General Authority for Statistics.
Inflation was 3.4 percent higher in January 2023 compared to the same month of 2022, primarily driven by the rising costs of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels which went up by 6.6 percent.
Food and beverages prices rose by 4.2 percent.
Saudi Arabia’s annual inflation rate in January 2023 is the highest since June 2021, when it hit 6.6 percent.
“Prices for housing were the main driver of the inflation rate in January 2023 due to their high relative importance in the Saudi consumer basket with a weight of 25.5 percent,” said GASTAT in the report.
Moreover, the GASTAT data indicates that the monthly consumer price index was affected by a 0.8 percent increase in the prices associated with housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels.
This comes as actual rentals for housing during the same period witnessed a 1 percent increase, the report highlighted.
Wholesale prices in the Kingdom surged 3.6 percent in January 2023, compared to the same month in 2022, the GASTAT report revealed.
The increase in January is mainly attributed to the rise in prices of food products, beverages, tobacco, and textiles by 7.6 percent.
The hike in prices in the food products, beverages, tobacco, and textiles is associated with the fact that dairy products, alone, climbed as much as 20 percent, the data disclosed.
When compared to December 2022, wholesale prices in the Kingdom increased 0.7 percent as a result of an increase in food products, beverages, tobacco, and textiles, which saw a rise of 1.7 percent. During the same period, the price of dairy products jumped 10 percent as well.
“In January 2023, the Wholesale Price Index increased by 3.6 percent compared to the same month in 2022, higher than in December 2022 (3 percent), but clearly below last year’s average,” said GASTAT in the report.