Oman inflation below 4% target


22/03/2012 07:47 AST  Reuters

Oman’s finance ministry is not worried about inflation in the sultanate as it is hovering below a 4 percent target, its head was quoted as saying by a local report yesterday.

“Internally, we are watching inflation. So far it is not a big concern. It is still within the target of 4 percent,” said Finance Minister Darwish Al-Balushi.

“That is our priority at this point in time. The government will take all necessary measures to make commodities available in the country,” he said.

Inflation in the countryhas gradually eased last year to 3.3 percent in December from a peak of 5.3 percent seen in August.

In January, Central Bank Executive President Hamood Sangour Al-Zadjali said he expected inflation to be around 4 percent this year, the same as the 2011 average.

Analysts polled by Reuters in December predicted inflation to reach 3.6 percent in 2012. Balushi also said an escalation in tensions around Iran’s disputed nuclear program would hit the economies in the world’s top oil-exporting region hard, adversely affecting inflation.

In an interview with Reuters recently, Oman’s minister responsible for foreign affairs warned that the risk of military conflict between Tehran and the West was rising but there was still plenty of opportunity to negotiate peace.

Oman is located strategically on the opposite side of the Strait of Hormuz, where almost a fifth of oil traded globally passes.

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