Prices in City Fall From Last Year’s Levels Month

Phnom Penh’s Consumer Price Index has decreased 5.7 percent since inflation hit record highs in May of 2008, according to the latest CPI, released this week by the National Institute of Statistics.

Cambodia’s inflation hit its highest ever level in May of last year, when prices shot up by 25.7 percent compared to the same period in 2007.

The vast majority of consumer goods have now dropped in price since then, according to the latest CPI.

The most significant declines were in the prices of food and fuel, commodities that had driven inflation last year. The price of gas has plummeted by 41.1 percent in the last year, while the CPI for rice dropped 21.2 percent.

Pork prices also fell significantly, decreasing by 15.7 percent compared to last year; overall food prices have fallen by 7.1 percent in the last 12 months.

Despite a decrease in year-on-year inflation, however, prices in Phnom Penh went up for the third month in a row; May’s CPI was 1 percent higher than April’s.

Driving the upward monthly trend were the same goods that accounted for the drop in the annual inflation rate: food and gasoline.

The prices of most foods increased slightly in May, including bread and cereals, meat, and vegetables, but particularly fish and seafood, the price of which went up by 2.8 percent. There was also a significant increase in the price of gasoline, which shot up by 5.9 percent between April and May.

Phnom Penh’s CPI is calculated for 259 items from observations taken at a sample of four outlets at each of five markets throughout the city. To calculate the rate of inflation, some items are weighted more heavily than other to reflect how frequently they are purchased by consumers.


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