Consumer Prices and Inflation Climb Sharply

The Consumer Price Index in Phnom Penh jumped 4.47 percent in the three months from July to September due to an overall price hike for goods and services, the Ministry of Planning’s National Institute of Statistics said in a report. Compared to the three months from April to June, prices went up across the board—from food, beverages, tobacco, clothing and medical care, to household furnishings, education and transportation, the report states.

The report also shows a whopping inflation-rate increase of 6.45 percent for September compared to the same month last year.

Economist Sok Sina said that higher gasoline prices have in­creas­ed the cost of transporting goods and led to price increases on imports. Civil servants and garment factory workers—two of the economy’s lowest-paid groups—are especially sensitive to such price in­creases, he said.

Touch Seang Tana, a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Observation Unit at the Council of Ministers, said the CPI increase would affect the poor although the situation was not dire.

“If the prices of meat like pork or fish increase, people could just eat more vegetables instead,” Touch Seang Tana said.

Kang Chandararot, an economist and director of the Cambodia Institute for Development Study, said his personal observation was that fixed costs—equipment, fertilizer and the like—coupled with higher gasoline prices are driving up the price of rice.

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