Property to figure less in UAE inflation figures and the basket of goods

The basket of goods used to calculate consumer price inflation is to be updated to give less weighting to property and more value to electronics and other goods.

Officials say the overhaul of the consumer price index will reflect changes in spending patterns and the overall economy since the global financial crisis.

It will also taken into account the greater importance of technologies such as mobile phones in recent years.

"The system will stay the same but the weights within the basket will be different as the economy has changed since the last data was taken," said a spokesman from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), who asked to remain anonymous.

The IMF has encouraged the country to regularly update inflation data to ensure its accuracy and relevance as an important economic indicator.

Data for the current basket has been fixed since 2007. But the economy has changed shape dramatically since then.

Housing services, made up of rental and utility bills, account for 39 per cent of the basket. Food prices take up 13.9 per cent of the index.

At the time, the weightings reflected a booming economy as prices of property, oil and other commodities soared. As a result, inflation climbed to 11 per cent in 2007.

Officials say the weighting allocated to some groups is no longer accurate. For example, property prices have slid by more than 50 per cent as credit dried up during the financial downturn.

The cost of other items have risen. Electricity and water bills have increased, as have fuel costs after a double hike in petrol prices by the government last year. Education fees have edged up too.

In addition, food prices have surged in recent months as bad harvests in important exporting nations put pressures on supply.

Inflation is forecast to reach 4 per cent this year, according to the IMF.


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If you go

  • The nearest international airport to the start of the Chuysky Trakt is in Novosibirsk. Emirates ( offer codeshare flights with S7 Airlines ( via Moscow for US$5,300 (Dh19,467) return including taxes. Cheaper flights are available on Flydubai and Air Astana or Aeroflot combination, flying via Astana in Kazakhstan or Moscow. Economy class tickets are available for US$650 (Dh2,400).
  • The Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk (+7 383 2230100,) has double rooms from US$60 (Dh220). You can rent cabins at camp grounds or rooms in guesthouses in the towns for around US$25 (Dh90).
  • The transport Minibuses run along the Chuysky Trakt but if you want to stop for sightseeing, hire a taxi from Gorno-Altaisk for about US$100 (Dh360) a day. Take a Russian phrasebook or download a translation app. Tour companies such as Altair-Tour (+7 383 2125115 ) offer hiking and adventure packages.
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Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

The Last White Man

Author: Mohsin Hamid 

192 pages 

Published by: Hamish Hamilton (UK), Riverhead Books (US)

Release date: out now in the US, August 11 (UK)

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