* Inflation up from 2.1 pct y/y in Aug
* Highest since at least start of 2010
* Food costs up 1.5 pct m/m, rents down 0.8 pct
By Martina Fuchs
DUBAI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Annual consumer price inflation in Qatar rose to 2.2 percent in September because of a jump in food costs, reaching its highest level since at least the beginning of 2010, when the Statistics Authority began publishing year-on-year data.
The inflation rate climbed from 2.1 percent in August, continuing this year’s uptrend from 1.6 percent in January. Qatar resumed experiencing inflation last December after a protracted period of deflation.
Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent month-on-month in September after a 0.2 percent increase in August, data from the Statistics Authority showed on Thursday.
“On a monthly basis, food was the most important category driving inflation up,” said Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
“Qatar is what we call a small open economy. Global inflation developments matter a lot to price developments in Qatar.”
Food prices, which account for 13.2 percent of the consumer basket, gained 1.5 percent month-on-month in September after a 1.8 percent drop in the previous month. The rents, fuel and energy component, which makes up 32.2 percent of the weighting, dropped 0.8 percent after a 0.5 percent decrease in August.
Analysts polled by Reuters in September predicted Qatar would see average inflation of 2.7 percent in 2011, after deflation of 2.4 percent last year .