Declining pressures on the cost of rent and fuel contributed to the lower inflation figure.

The rental index rose by 13.7 per cent in the final quarter of the year, compared to a rise of 18.9 per cent in the third quarter and 24.4 per cent in the second quarter.

Inflation in Qatar peaked at 16.59 per cent in the second quarter of 2008. It is now expected to decline further as the price of global commodities falls and pressure on the real estate market slows.

The UK’s Standard Chartered Bank says it expects inflation in Qatar to be 8 per cent this year.