Dubai inflation slows to 0.6% in 2010

Communication and housing costs fall

Dubai inflation slowed to 0.6 per cent last year, from 4.0 per cent in 2009, as ongoing weakness in the property sector weighed on consumer price growth in the emirate, data showed on Wednesday.

Inflation in Dubai had been hovering below one per cent for most of last year as debt woes of state-owned companies slowed the recovery of the region's trade and business hub.

Housing costs, which have the largest 44 per cent weight in the basket, fell 1.3 per cent in 2010, after a 2.4 per cent rise in the previous year, data from Dubai Statistics Center showed.

Communication prices, which account for six per cent of Dubai living costs, plunged by 10.6 per cent year-on-year, after edging down by 0.2 per cent in 2009.

Food costs, that have been pushing inflation up across the Gulf last year, saw only a 1.9 per cent increase, while growth in transport prices accelerated to 6.6 per cent in 2010 following hikes in heavily subsidised gasoline prices.

The statistic office did not release monthly inflation for December. The UAE has yet to publish December data for the whole federation.

Consumer price growth in Dubai is expected to quicken this year as sentiment improved after the state conglomerate Dubai World sealed a $25 billion debt restructuring deal in September.

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