Cambodia’s Inflation Rate Declines In October

The consumer price index grew 18.12 percent from October 2007 to October 2008, according to government statistics released Monday, which marks a lowering of the inflation rate in a year when it has skyrocketed.

Inflation rose to more than 22 percent in August and 20 percent in September according to previous CPIs, which calculate inflation using the prices of a standardized basket of goods from food to clothes to fuel.

And while prices remain high compared with last year, some price changes that occurred month to month recently have slowed or reversed compared to previous trends, according to the numbers from the National Institute of Statistics.

Food prices in October in­creased 30 percent over October 2007, but when comparing last month’s food prices with those in September of this year, food costs only increased by less than half a percent, according to the NIS, which is overseen by the Plan­ning Ministry.

The price of gasoline was up nearly 10 percent compared to October 2007, but petrol prices decreased more than 10 percent compared to September of this year.

Planning Minister Chhay Than said Monday that even though petrol prices tend to play a large role in inflation, recent world petrol price declines didn’t have a larger effect on the CPI due to other factors.

The world financial crisis and the falling value of the US dollar have taken a toll on the economy, he said.

“I hope inflation will decrease more next year,” he said.

John Brinsden, vice chairman of Acleda Bank, said Monday that the high inflation seems to be decreasing in Cambodia.

“You could call it being cautiously optimistic that the number is coming down,” he said.

Banking restrictions such as the doubling of the foreign currency reserve rate to 16 percent have lowered the amount of lending by Cambodian banks, he said.

“I was one of the doubters from the beginning but it does seem to have helped,” he said.

 

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