The rate of price inflation eased last month as food prices fell steeply ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, when authorities fix prices of essential goods to keep them affordable.
The softening in price increases was also aided by a drop in the cost of housing and utilities, which accounts for the largest portion of the consumer price index.
The Dubai Consumer Price Index rose 1.4 per cent year-on-year last month, versus a 1.9 per cent year-on-year gain in April, the Dubai Statistics Center said yesterday.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices fell 0.4 per cent year-on-year last month, versus a 4 per cent year-on-year gain the previous month.
Prices of 5,000 food items have been reduced by up to 70 per cent at supermarkets this Ramadan, the Ministry of Economy recently said. More imports, agreements with suppliers and hundreds of inspections are among the measures that have been taken to ensure the prices remain low in the holy month, according to the ministry’s consumer protection department.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are among the world’s most expensive cities to live, a recent Mercer survey showed. It placed Abu Dhabi 33rd and Dubai 23rd.
There has, however, been a silver lining in the recent economic slowdown, with home rentals declining, especially in Dubai.
Prices of housing, water and electricity rose slower last month, inching up 3.3 per cent year-on-year from 3.9 per cent.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter