Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Vietnam inflation cools to 9.2 percent in April

Associated Press, 04.22.09, 07:23 AM EDT

Vietnam's inflation rate eased to 9.2 percent in April as telecommunications and transportation costs fell, the government said Wednesday.

Last month, the consumer price index rose 11.3 percent, cooling from 14.8 percent in February. Inflation of 23 percent in 2008 was the highest in 17 years.

As part of efforts to curb rising prices and stimulate the economy, the government has cut import tariffs and taxes on various consumer products several times this year.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung this week predicted that the inflation rate would fall to 6 percent in 2009.

Inflation in April was driven mainly by increases in the cost of food, beverages, home appliances and garments and textiles, said the General Statistics Office, which often issues the data before the end of the month based on estimates.

Vietnam's economy expanded 6.2 percent last year, the lowest level in nearly a decade and down from 8.5 percent in 2007, but still one of the world's fastest growth rates.

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