Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vietnam's inflation hits 27.9 percent in Sept

The Associated Press
Monday, September 22, 2008
HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnam's inflation rose 27.9 percent in September, easing slightly from the 17-year high hit in August, the government said Monday.
The soaring consumer price index was driven by price increases in food, transportation, housing and construction materials, said the General Statistic Office, which often issues the data ahead of the month's end based on estimates.
The country's inflation rose to 28.3 percent in August, a 17-year high. The inflation rate was 27 percent in July, 26.8 percent in June and 25.2 percent in May.
Overall food costs were up 65 percent in September from a year ago, the government said. The price of housing and construction materials and transportation both rose 26 percent, it said.

Skyrocketing inflation has led to a wave of strikes at factories around the country from workers seeking higher wages.

As part of its effort to curb inflation, the government has increased interest rates and postponed thousands of public investment projects. The government also plans further spending cuts, according to the state controlled media.

The government said the average inflation rate in the first nine months of this year was 22.76 percent. It has forecast that inflation for all of 2008 could hit 25 percent.

The Asian Development Bank has lowered its growth forecast for Vietnam to 6.5 percent this year and 6 percent next year.

Last year the country's economy expanded by 8.2 percent.