The sultanate's annual inflation declined to 2.4 per cent in August from 2.9 per cent in the previous month , mainly due to stabilising prices of some food items and a decline in the prices of personal care items and other services, according to the consumer price index (CPI) data released by National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
However, due to a sharp rise in vegetable, fruits and fish product prices, the annual inflation in food, beverages and tobacco category , rose to 3.7 per cent in August from 2.6 per cent in July this year.
On the other hand, prices for most food items such as cereals, milk products, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, tea and coffee and beverages have either stabilised or marginally declined in the past few months. Personal care items and services category saw a five per cent decline in prices in August compared to the same month last year.
Omar bin Faisal al Jahadmi, director general of consumer services and marketing control at Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP), said that the prices for most of the commodities are under control as the retailers are not allowed to increase prices without getting an approval from the authority.
He said, “However, prices for some items like fruits, vegetables and fish depends on daily demand and supply situation and comes from source on daily basis so these prices fluctuate quickly. We cannot control prices for vegetables, fruits and fish which depends on seasonal and supply side factors. Off season vegetables and fruits always see a steep rise in prices.”
In August last year, PACP made it mandatory for all retailers to seek its approval before increasing the price of any commodity.
The average annual inflation in the first eight months period has been 2.9 per cent this year compare to 4.2 per cent in the same period last year. International Monetary Fund has forecast Oman's annual average inflation at 3.2 per cent for the full year 2012.