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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inflation rate inches up 1.6%

Inflation rate inches up 1.6%

130102 07
Fishmongers sort through the day’s catch on the banks of Tonle Sap river, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2013. Relatively stable food prices was a major factor in keeping inflation in check in November 2012. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia saw a slight increase in inflation in November with a rise of 1.6 per cent, compared to the same month in 2011. Officials said the inflationary rate reflected the moderate growth of the country’s economy of 6 to 7 per cent last year.

Data from the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) showed strong increases in the prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages:  rice prices increased 2 per cent, beef prices were up 15.2 per cent, fish and seafood prices increased 1.5 per cent and the price for fruit increase 5 per cent.

In other areas, clothing and footwear prices increased by 3.1 per cent, the price for gas went was up 3.7 per cent and gasoline rose 5 per cent.

Khin Song, deputy director general of the NIS said the relative stability of prices across the economy was result a healthy economy.

“This year’s price rate is very nice. It is getting very stable due to the fact that we can maintain the food price.”

He said this year the government banned commercial fishing quotas by opening fishing to the people who were otherwise shut out of the sector because of large-scale fishing operations. By doing so it boosted supply and thus kept prices in check.

“At the same time, if we look at our importing countries like China, their inflation rate is also very low so that we also benefit from that,” he added.

Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodia Economic Association (CEA) said while the country’s economy is on the rise, production is increasing and the slow increase of the inflation rate can have both positive and negative impacts on the economy.

“Partially, ups and downs in the inflationary rate of our country [are influenced] mainly by the seasonal factor. But the very low increase of inflation can be good for the whole economy, but it is bad for the producers and farmers,” he said.

The NIS’s data showed that the country actually saw a 0.2 per cent deflation rate between October to November last year, one of four instances of deflation last year.

The International Monetary Fund projected Cambodia’s growth to reach 6.5 per cent in 2012 with an average inflation rate of about 3.5 per cent.

The government projected the country’s growth to be at 7 per cent in 2012 and inflation below 5 per cent.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at kunmakara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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