Annual inflation in Gulf oil and gas producer Qatar eased to 13.16 percent in the fourth quarter as cost pressures from rents, fuel and energy eased, official data showed on Thursday.

The rental index of the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas gained 13.7 percent to Dec. 31 compared with a year earlier, Qatar Statistics Authority data showed. That was down from an annual jump of 18.9 percent in the third quarter and 24.4 percent in the second quarter.

The general consumer price index rose to 180.31 points on Dec. 31 compared with 159.34 points a year earlier, the authority said in a statement on its website.

Inflation in Qatar, which has been the highest in the Gulf Arab region, peaked at 16.59 percent in the quarter ended June 30.

But inflationary pressures across the region have since eased as oil prices tumbled to around $40 a barrel — less than a third of their record level in July.

Inflation in Qatar should fall to about 8 percent this year from 15.2 percent last year, Standard Chartered Bank said this week.

In the fourth quarter, food, beverage and tobacco prices advanced 17.5 percent on an annual basis. That advance was down from 21.9 percent in the earlier quarter.

Qatar’s economy should expand about 10 percent this year as the Gulf state continues to boost natural gas production, its minister of state for energy and industry affairs said in remarks published this week

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