JEDDAH - Saudi Arabia's annual inflation eased to a nine-month low of 5.1 percent in May, despite a slight rise in food and housing prices, official data showed on Saturday.
The central bank said in a report that it expects inflationary pressures to continue in the second quarter. The CDS said in Feb that it expected relative price stability or even a slight decline in inflationary pressures in the near term.
Saudi Arabia suffers from a housing shortage that drives up real estate prices. Last year the government promised to build half a million new homes at a cost of $67 billion.
The largest Arab economy expanded by an officially estimated 6.8 percent in 2011; it is forecast by a Reuters poll of analysts to grow 4.0 percent this year, but that estimate could be exceeded if oil prices remain high and Saudi Arabia produces more oil.