Saudi Arabia was able to expand the difference in the inflation rate with the G20 countries and maintain its advanced position, occupying the second place after China, by recording 2 percent in August.
The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) announced Thursday that inflation in the Kingdom registered a further decline in August, after reaching 2.3 percent in July. This current level of inflation in the Kingdom is the lowest in a year and a half.
Compared to inflation rates of the G20 countries in August, Saudi Arabia recorded 2 percent, Indonesia 3.27 percent, Canada and Japan 3.3 percent, each, and South Korea 3.4 percent. The inflation rate in America reached 3.7 percent, Mexico 4.6 percent, South Africa 4.7 percent, France 4.8 percent, Russia 5.2 percent, and the Eurozone 5.3 percent.
The rate in Italy reached 5.5 percent, Australia 6 percent, then Germany 6.1 percent, while the United Kingdom recorded a rate of 6.8 percent.
Türkiye and Argentina came at the bottom of the G20 ranking, registering 58.9 percent and 124 percent, respectively.
As for China, it topped the list with the lowest inflation rate of 0.1 percent.
In this context, experts told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi Arabia was still controlling inflation through several measures adopted by the government. Those include the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) raising interest rates, setting the ceiling for energy prices, and resuming grain exports from Ukraine.
Advisor and Professor of Commercial Law Dr. Osama Al-Obaidi, told Asharq Al-Awsat that SAMA’s decision to raise the standard borrowing rates in line with the monetary tightening policy taken by the US Federal Reserve led to curbing inflation.
He added that the drop of the inflation rate in Saudi Arabia was due to the decline in food prices, the establishment of the ceiling for energy prices, the resumption of grain exports from Ukraine, as well as the decrease of housing and education costs.
Al-Obaidi expected inflation rates in Saudi Arabia to continue to shrink during the remainder of this year, between 1 and 1.5 percent on an annual basis, as well as in 2024.
For his part, Economic Expert Mohammad Al-Anqari told Asharq Al-Awsat that several reasons were behind the drop in the inflation rate in Saudi Arabia, including external factors such as the rise of the dollar against global currencies.
GASTAT’s report indicated that the inflation rate last month was affected by an increase in the prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other types of fuel by 9 percent, in addition to a rise in the prices of food and beverages by 0.4 percent.