Food, beverages prices jump 68% in Abu Dhabi

Transport, coffee, tea and meat prices increase around 15%

Inflation in Abu Dhabi jumped 1.9 per cent in 2011 compared to the same period last year, pushed up by food and non-alcoholic beverages, Statistics Center - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) said on Wednesday.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed the largest share (67.7 per cent) of the rise in the index during 2011, due to increases in the prices of most of the subgroups making up this group.

The largest increase within this group was in the prices of the "Coffee, tea and cocoa" subgroups, which advanced by 15.3 per cent each, followed by the "Meat" group (up 14.7 per cent), "Mineral water, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices" and "Fruits" (up 8.6 per cent each), and "Fish and seafood" (up 7.4 per cent).

The next largest contributor to the overall year-on-year increase in the CPI during 2011 was the "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" group, which accounted for 31.9 per cent of the overall increase in consumer prices during this period, reflecting a rise of 1.5 per cent in the average prices of this group. The large contribution is explained by the sizable relative weight of the group in the basket making up CPI expenditure groups.

The "Transport" group contributed 25.4 per cent to the year-on-year rise in consumer prices in 2011, during which it increased by 5.1 per cent.

SCAD's report also reveals that the key expenditure group that slowed down the rise in consumer prices during the year 2011 compared with 2010 was "Clothing and footwear", which contributed -67.4 per cent of the overall change in consumer prices over the periods under comparison, as the prices of this group dipped by 13.8 per cent.

As SCAD's report elaborates, average consumer prices increased by 1.2 per cent in December 2011, compared with December 2010. The most significant individual increase was 8.0 per cent, reported for the "Restaurants and hotels" group, followed by "Alcoholic beverages and tobacco" (up 7.4 per cent) and "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" (up 6.8 per cent). On the other hand, the prices of the "Clothing and footwear" group decreased by 4.5 per cent over the same comparison period.

As for the month-to-month change, average consumer prices edged down 0.2 per cent in December 2011 compared with November 2011. The largest single fall during the aforesaid period was recorded in the prices of the "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" group, which declined by 0.7 per cent.

Detailed by welfare level, consumer prices increased by 3.6 per cent for households of the "bottom" welfare quintile during 2011 compared with 2010. The corresponding rise for other welfare levels was 1.2 per cent for households of the top quintile, 2.4 per cent for the middle quintile and 2.8 per cent for the "lower middle" welfare level.

As per SCAD's report finds, consumer prices advanced by 2.0 per cent for households of the "bottom" welfare level in December 2011, compared with December 2010. The corresponding rises were 0.9 per cent for the "top" welfare level and 1.6 per cent for the "middle" welfare level.

A breakdown of the change in consumer prices in December 2011, compared with November 2011 shows that prices declined by 0.1 per cent for the "Bottom middle welfare level and by 0.2 per cent for the "middle" and the "top" welfare quintiles.

The report also found that during 2011, compared with the 2010, consumer prices increased by 1.9 per cent for national households. The corresponding rise for other household types was 1.6 per cent for non-national households and 3.2 per cent for collective households.

As SCAD's report further adds, consumer prices increased by 1.5 per cent for national households in December 2011, compared with December 2010. The corresponding rise for other household types was 0.8 per cent for non-national households and 1.2 per cent for collective households.

A breakdown of the change in consumer prices during December 2011, compared with November 2011 shows that prices levels retreated in December 2011 by 0.2 per cent for national and non-national households.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, average consumer prices rose by 0.9 per cent compared with the same period of 2010. The rise resulted in a surge of 1.8 per cent in consumer prices for households of the bottom welfare quintile over this period. The corresponding rise for other welfare levels was 0.5 per cent for households of the top quintile and 1.3 per cent for the middle quintile.

The rise in consumer prices in Q4 2011 compared with Q3 2011 pushed up consumer prices for households in the bottom welfare level by 0.7 per cent, while prices increased by 0.6 per cent for households in the middle welfare level and by 0.4 per cent for households in the top welfare level.

Consumer prices for national households advanced by 1.0 per cent during Q4 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, while the rise over the same comparison period was 0.6 per cent for non-national households and 1.6 per cent for collective households.

As SCAD's report finds, consumer prices in Q4 2011 compared with Q3 2011 increased by 0.6 per cent for national households, 0.4 per cent for non-national households and 0.6 per cent for collective households.

In preparing its monthly CPI reports, Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi follows the methodologies adopted internationally in this field, using a broad and highly representative basket of goods and service, to ensure accuracy in the calculation of the index, which is the sole officially authorized source for monitoring changes in prices and inflation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SCAD has recently developed the computing of the CPI so that it is compiled according to households' types and levels of welfare. As for the welfare level approach, the population is divided into five segments (quintiles) representing five levels of welfare, based on average per capita annual expenditure. Each quintile reflects the consumption pattern represented by that quintile. In regard to the household type approach, the population is divided into three types of households as set out in the results of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2007-2008), namely, national, non-national and collective households.

To represent all regions of the Emirate, the selected sample of items included in the Consumer Price Index basket uses actual data from the 2007 household income and expenditure survey. The sample of outlets were selected in such a way as to represent points of purchase for a large base of consumers all over the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, taking into account the geographical distribution of sources within the emirate.

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