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November 26, 2008

Vietnam inflation remains among the highest

Declining global oil and commodity prices slowed Vietnam's inflation for a third month in November but the rate remains one of the highest in Asia, reported Reuters.

The consumer price index rose 24.2 percent from a year earlier in November, easing from 26.7 percent in October, the government said Tuesday. Inflation hit a 17-year high of 28.3 percent in August.

Vietnam usually releases economic data before the end of the reporting period based on estimates.

The government has cut fuel prices several times since August following a fall in the global oil price.

Transportation prices eased by 4.4 percent from October and housing and construction material prices fell 4.9 percent, the General Statistics Office said in a statement.

Food prices fell by 0.1 percent but were still 37.6 percent higher than a year earlier. Housing and construction materials rose 14.7 percent from November last year.

The government has forecast inflation of 22 percent for 2008.

Vietnam's economy has grown rapidly, expanding an average of 7 percent a year for the past decade, but began overheating last year with inflation skyrocketing and the trade deficit ballooning.

The government has predicted an annual growth rate of 6.7 percent for 2008. Last year, the country's economy expanded by 8.5 percent.

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