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Vietnam Faces Growing Inflation Rates

Nguoi Viet, Posted: Jun 01, 2008

HANOI Economists and financial officials worry that the inflation rate in Vietnam is worsening despite government measures to slow it, reports Nguoi Viet. New figures showed the consumer price index rose 3.9 percent in May, the highest one-month increase since 1995. Mays price hikes brought Vietnams year-on-year inflation rate since May 2007 to 25 percent. Officials had said they were optimistic that government policies to fight inflation were already taking hold when inflation dropped to 2.2 percent in April, but the new figures dashed those hopes. The governments measures to contain inflation have not proved to be effective, said L Đăng Doanh, a senior Vietnamese economist. I think the situation will remain very complicated in the coming months. The government has tried to slow growth in credit and in the money supply by raising banks deposit requirements, requiring them to buy government bonds, and removing caps on interest rates. Government officials have called on state-owned companies to pare back unnecessary borrowing and spending, but it is not clear how much effect those calls have had. Food and beverage costs rose by over 42 percent year-on-year, with the staple food rice and other grains up almost 68 percent in May compared to a year earlier, said the General Statistics Office. The World Banks chief economist in Vietnam, Martin Rama, called the 25-percent inflation rate, which is the countrys highest in more than a decade a worrying figure, a very high inflation rate.

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