October 14, 2017 / 5:46 PM / 2 years ago

Qatar deflation deepens as real estate market weakens

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of Doha's diplomatic area March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar’s consumer price deflation deepened in September as a downturn in the real estate market deepened because of economic sanctions imposed by other Arab states, official data showed on Saturday.

Consumer prices fell 0.5 percent from a year earlier last month, after a 0.4 percent drop in August that was the first fall since at least early 2015, when the current data series began.

Housing and utility prices sank 4.7 percent from a year ago in September, their biggest drop for at least several years, and fell 0.7 percent from the previous month. In August, prices had slipped 4.0 percent from a year earlier.

Housing prices were already in a downtrend before June, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

But the sanctions have contributed to the slide by hurting investor sentiment, stifling demand among nationals from other Gulf states, and tightening liquidity in the banking system.

Food and beverage prices rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier in September.

Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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