Thursday, 25 June 2009

Vietnam's inflation eases to 3.9 percent

HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam's inflation rate eased to 3.9 percent in June, thanks to falling transportation and telecommunication costs, the government said Wednesday.

That's a sharp decline from recent months, when inflation was 9.3 percent in April and 11.3 percent in March. Last year, the country's inflation rate soared to nearly 23 percent, the highest since 1991.

Transportation prices fell 4.2 percent, while telecommunication costs fell 10.9 percent from the same period a year ago.

However, prices still rose this month for food, medicine, beverages, home appliances and garments and textiles, said the government, which issued the data ahead of the month's end based on estimates.

Overall, food prices were 3.4 percent higher compared to last year, while beverage and textile prices both rose nearly 10 percent. Prices for medicine increased by 7 percent, it said.

In April, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung predicted that the inflation rate would fall to 6 percent in 2009.

The government also lowered its growth rate target to 5 percent from 6.5 percent. The economy expanded 6.2 percent last year, the lowest level in nearly a decade and down from 8.5 percent in 2007.

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