The UAE plans to update its consumer price index to reflect price trends more accurately and release data more regularly, possibly every month, said sources.
The UAE is the only Gulf country to release inflation data annually and usually months after the end of the year. It has yet to give data for 2007.
The Ministry of Economy will conclude a year-long consumer-spending survey next month after collecting weekly data on the expenses of 6,000 to 7,000 families in the seven-member federation, said the person, who did not want to be identified.
“The survey will be used to modify the index and calculate inflation going forward,” the source said.
“This will enable the government to release data more regularly rather than just one time a year.”
Inflation in the UAE hit a 19-year high of 9.3 per cent in 2006. It probably accelerated to 10.9 per cent last year on surging rents, National Bank of Abu Dhabi said this week.
Rents, the biggest driver of inflation across the Gulf, has a 36 per cent weighting in the UAE consumer price index. The economy ministry will use results of the survey, completed in conjunction with statistics departments in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, to make any necessary modifications to its consumer price index, the source said.
“This is part of the federal government’s strategy to release data and information in a way that is more up to date and accurate.”
Monthly update for price index