The annual inflation rate in Saudi Arabia increased to 3.3% in December from 2.9% in November, according to government figures released on Sunday, with housing costs driving price increases once again.
In December, prices increased 0.3% month-over-month, compared to 0.1% in November, according to Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Statistics.
Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, which comprised 25.5% of the consumer basket, increased 5.9% year-over-year and 0.9% month-over-month.
According to the statistics authorities, the increase was caused by a 1.1% increase in actual housing rentals.
Food and beverage costs, which were the primary driver of inflation for the most of 2022, decreased 0.1% on a monthly basis but were up 4.2% from December 2021.
The General Authority for Statistics stated in a separate study, “The annual consumer price index for 2022 increased by 2.5% compared to 2021, mainly influenced by the rise in food and beverages prices by 3.7% and transport prices by 4.1%, due to their weight in the index,”
The housing category increased 1.8% in 2022, primarily due to a 2.0% increase in actual dwelling rentals, according to the authority.
In its budget declaration for 2023, the finance ministry projected an average inflation rate of 2.6% at the end of 2022.