The latest data released by Doha’s Planning Council shows the state’s consumer price index rose by just over 1 per cent from the previous quarter’s rate of 13.74 per cent, only narrowly behind the state’s all-time record of 14.81 per cent for the first quarter of 2007.

Qatar said there was a 7.81 per cent rise in in food, beverage and tobacco prices during the quarter, compared with 6.6 per cent for the previous three month period, with the Council attributing much of the increase to the hike in international food prices.

Rents and utility costs rose by 4.76 per cent for the first three months of 2008 while the transport and communications sector increased by 4.33 per cent, triggered by more expensive airline tickets.