Average consumer prices in the emirate of Abu Dhabi edged down 0.3 per cent in January 2012 compared with December 2011, according to the periodic report issued on Saturday by the Statistics Center Abu Dhabi (SCAD), based on its consumer price index (CPI).
It added that the single largest drop was observed in the prices of "Food and non-alcoholic beverages", which fell by 1.6 per cent, followed by "Miscellaneous goods and services", which declined by 1.5 per cent over the same period.
The report analyzes the CPI calculations for the periods under review, with the year 2007 fixed as the base year. It also details CPI results by welfare levels and types of households.
Comparison of monthly year-over-year figures show that average consumer prices advanced 0.8 per cent in January 2012 compared with January 2011.
"Alcoholic beverages and tobacco" accounted for the largest increase (7.4 percent) during the aforesaid period, followed by "Restaurants and hotels" (up 6.9 percent), "Education" (up 4.8 percent) and "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" (up 4.7 percent).
In the meantime, the prices of the "Clothing and footwear" group retreated by 4.5 percent.
Detailed by welfare levels, consumer prices climbed 1.1 per cent for households of the "bottom" welfare quintile during January 2012, compared with January 2011.
The corresponding rise for other welfare levels was 0.6 per cent for households of the top quintile and 1.0 percent for those of the middle quintile.
However, a month-to-month comparison of consumer prices by welfare levels in January 2012 compared with December 2011 indicates a fall of 0.7 per cent for the "bottom" welfare level and a corresponding drop of 0.4 per cent for the "middle" welfare quintile and 0.2 per cent the "top" welfare quintile.
A breakdown by household type shows that consumer prices advanced 1.0 per cent for national households in January 2012, compared with January 2011.
The corresponding rise for other household types was 0.5 per cent for non-national households and 0.9 per cent for collective households.
By contrast, consumer prices for national and non-national households decreased by 0.3 per cent in January 2012, compared with December 2011.
The corresponding drop for collective households was 0.7 per cent.
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.