Ramadan witnesses a surge in food prices

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Ramadan is a time of the year to avoid being spendthrift and instead, promote a lifestyle of modesty. However, for many Muslims, the Holy month turns into a budget battle where families struggle to balance their personal finances.

food basket
During the month of Ramadan, prices of fruits, vegetables, and other foods increase. Photo:vgm8383/Flickr

Quoting similar circumstances, a report issued by Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD), revealed the prices of basket food commodities increased by 1.9 percent during the first week of the month of Ramadan this year, compared with the first week of the previous month

Recording actual figures, the report has noted that the prices of fruits rose by 5.9 percent, vegetables by 7.9 percent, coffee, tea and cocoa by 3.2 per cent and fish and seafood by 2.8 percent.

The report, which monitors changes in food prices during the first week of Ramadan, compared with prices levels in the preceding week and the same week in previous month, holds significance owing to ensure that there is sufficient supply of various goods during Ramadan, as well as to exercise consumer protection.

For the first time, the inflation rate is detailed for higher accuracy.

The food price index methodology has been developed by a team of experts in conformity with relevant international standards. The index is compiled on the basis of a basket consisting of two main groups and 11 subgroups. The index basket consists of 214 items.

Among the changes in the expenditure groups detailed by the Emirate, the largest rise was observed in the Fruits group in Abu Dhabi, where the group advanced by 5.6 percent, compared with 5.8 percent in the Al Gharbia Region and 10.7 per cent in Al Ain. Prices of the Vegetables group recorded an overall rise of 7.9 percent. A breakdown of the increase by region reveals a rise in the group’s prices by 7.5 percent in Abu Dhabi, 12.2 percent in Al Gharbia and 7.8 percent Al Ain region.

SCAD’s report indicates an increase of 0.6 percent in the prices of food commodities during the first week of Ramadan compared with the preceding week, reflecting rises in the prices of Coffee, tea and cocoa by 5.4 percent, Fish and seafood by 1.4 percent, vegetables by 1.3 percent, and Fruits by 1.2 percent.

The price of Fish and seafood advanced by an average of 1.4 per cent for Abu Dhabi Emirate as a whole, the corresponding rises being 3.7 percent in Al Ain region and 0.5 percent in Abu Dhabi and Al Gharbia regions.

The methodology adopted to collect price data are through sources sources selected on the basis of field visits paid by a team from the Field Operations Section, in collaboration with the Prices and Income Section. Sources are selected to represent the sample target market, who are consumers across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the month of Ramadan.

SCAD emphasised the importance of the consumer prices index (CPI) in the promotion of statistical awareness about consumption among the public, especially in the holy month of Ramadan and other periods where the index can reflect the movement of prices and rates of inflation, thus helping better planned spending.

At the national level, the index offers a baseline for government authorities concerned to monitor prices, ensure that there is sufficient supply of various goods, exercise consumer protection, learn about consumption patterns during the holy month thereby obtaining inputs for future planning in this regard.

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