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July 24, 2007

Inflation picks up sharply in July
Consumer prices in Vietnam rose 8.39% year-on-year in July, the government said in an estimate on July 24, a sharp increase on the previous month, AFP reported.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO)'s preliminary report, food prices, which form more than 40% of the basket of goods on which the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is based, were up 11.13% from a year ago, with rice and other grains increasing by 15.03%.

Housing and construction materials cost 10.93% more, while gold was up 5.51% and the dollar rate against the dong rose 0.95%, the GSO said. According to previously published figures, June CPI was up 7.8% after a rise of 7.3% in May.

"Although within control, the rise in consumer prices is still high, while several hidden criteria can cause upheavals in the market," Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung warned in an official government official report a week earlier.

Hung, who used to be finance minister, called for "active measures to stabilise the market in case of imbalances in the supply and demand of essential products like oil, food, fertiliser, steel, cement or pharmaceutical products."

Communist Vietnam this year aims to keeping consumer prices no higher than planned economic growth of between 8.2 to 8.5%. AFP

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