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Vietnam inflation slows to 5.58% in May
Vietnam's inflation rate slowed to 5.58 percent in May, down sharply from last year's record high, the General Statistics Office was quoted as saying by AFP.
In a report late Friday, the GSO said food prices rose 6.50 percent year-on-year, beverages and tobacco were up 9.71 percent, while housing and construction material costs rose 0.70 percent.
Consumer prices overall were 0.44 percent higher than in April, and increased 2.12 percent from December, GSO data showed. Vietnam's consumer prices rose by 9.23 percent year-on-year in April.
After more than a decade of rapid economic growth, Vietnam struggled to contain double-digit inflation which hit a record 28.3 percent last August and was 23 percent for the full-year 2008, sharply up from eight percent in 2007.
But the country, a major exporter of manufactured goods including clothing and footwear, as well as seafood, rice, coffee and other commodities, has since been hit by downturns in the United States, Europe and other markets.
Faced with the economic slowdown, the government on Tuesday asked the National Assembly to agree to reduce this year's economic growth target to around five percent from the previous goal of 6.5 percent.
A lower target is required "to create momentum for better and more sustainable development in the following years," Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said at the opening of a twice-yearly legislative session by the communist-dominated assembly.
The World Bank has estimated 5.5 percent economic growth for Vietnam in 2009 and the International Monetary Fund predicts 3.5 percent growth.
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