Inflation in Cambodia rose 5.8 per cent year-on-year in January, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics.
Rising fuel costs had spurred the inflation, which was felt largely in the price of food, officials said.
Will Baxter/Phnom Penh Post
A woman purchases pork at an open-air market in Meanchey district, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
Data showed food and non-alcoholic beverage prices in January increased by 7.7 per cent compared to a year earlier.
The price of some items, such as beef and port wine, increased by as much as 17.5 and 20.3 per cent respectively, and the cost of vegetables rose nearly 10 per cent.
Chheng Kimlong, an economics and business lecturer at the University of Cambodia, said the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year celebrations in January had led to increased demand.
Fluctuations in gasoline costs on the global market had also had an impact on local production, Chheng Kimlong said.
The price of gasoline rose as much as 10.8 per cent last year.
Cambodian gasoline prices hit an all-time high on January 27.
Premium gasoline sold at US$1.40 a litre, stoking fears of an increase in domestic production cost.
Cheng Kimlong said prices would continue to grow in the coming months in anticipation of the Khmer New Year and the farming season.
Experts said the surge was to be expected given the improvement in the economy, which pushed demand.
“[Gross domestic product] is on the rise, so inflation rates are acceptable. But if our GDP slows, the inflationary rates could become a concern,” NIS deputy director-general Khin Song said.
“The price index is changing as demand speeds up, and local supply cannot yet accommodate it.”