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November 22, 2008

Vietnam sees 2008 inflation at 22%
The Vietnamese government has revised down its annual inflation forecast for this year to 22 percent from a previous estimate of 24 percent and said the economy would grow 6.7 percent as projected, reported Reuters.

Vietnam's lower-than-expected inflation would be due to tight measures in containing consumer price rises, the government said in a statement after Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with planning and investment officials on Friday.

The central bank has raised its benchmark interest rates three times this year to curb credit growth while lower world oil prices have helped Vietnamese oil product distributors cut fuel prices six times since early October.

Vietnam, which faces annual inflation in double digits since last November, would see its consumer price index this month easing from October, Saturday's Tin Tuc (News) daily quoted Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc as telling the Friday meeting.

Phuc did not give a figure but the price fall could mark the second drop in a row after October prices eased 0.19 percent from September, the first monthly drop since March 2007.

As an early indication for Vietnam's inflation readings this month, consumer prices in Ho Chi Minh City are expected to have fallen 0.69 percent from October, the second drop this year following lower prices of food, fuel and housing costs.

The government is expected to released November inflation data early next week. It has an inflation target of below 15 percent next year, when the economic growth is projected to slow to 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent expected this year.

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