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Inflation easing in emerging Asia


September 11, 2008

ADB chief: Inflation easing in emerging Asia
Inflation will begin declining in emerging Asian economies in the next few months, the head of the Asian Development Bank, Haruhiko Kuroda, was quoted by Reuters as saying during a visit to Jakarta on Wednesday.

Kuroda did not give reasons, but inflation in Thailand and South Korea slowed sharply in August, in step with retreating oil prices, while Indonesia's inflation also eased slightly.

"At this phase, we can say inflation has peaked in the region.

I am quite sure in the next few months, in emerging economies in Asia, inflation will start to decline," Kuroda told reporters.

"In that sense we are approaching a phase where the region as a whole is seeing inflation peaking out, decelerating, including in Indonesia."

Kuroda said in June that the biggest challenge for emerging economies in Asia was inflation as higher food and oil prices were affecting the poor.

Analysts said a retreat in the oil price from an all-time peak in mid-July was largely responsible for the cooling of inflation.

In Thailand, petrol subsidies and cuts in utility and transport charges also helped bring down inflation.

Consumer prices in South Korea rose 5.6 percent in August from a year earlier, down from a near 10-year high of 5.9 percent in July, marking the first decline in the inflation rate in six months.

In Thailand, headline annual inflation slowed to 6.4 percent from a decade high of 9.2 percent in July, while Indonesia reported inflation at 11.85 percent, fractionally lower than in July.

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