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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPI data to resume this week

CPI data to resume this week


Opposition blasts government  claim of lower inflation rate


A Phnom Penh rice trader Sunday. The price of staples skyrocketed in

recent months, prompting the government to suspend the publication of

inflation figures.

MINISTRY of Planning officials announced a

decrease in Cambodia's inflation rate to 22 percent in advance of

official Consumer Price Index numbers expected later this week.

The government suspended monthly CPI reports in early February in a

move widely seen as an effort to obscure spiralling consumer costs

ahead of the July national polls.

"The ministry has completed the Consumer Price Index and inflation was

at 22 percent in July and August," Minister of Planning Chhay Than told

the Post  Sunday.

"These figures show that inflation has gone down compared to the same period last year," he said.

The minister said the drop was explained in part by falling petrol prices.

However, Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Son Chhay dismissed the government's inflation assessment.

"I think the ministry shouldn't release statistics for politically

motivated reasons. The election is over, so they should give us the

real numbers," he said.

He said the figure of 22 percent doesn't correspond to actual market

costs for goods, which he says have gone up no less than 30 percent

over the past six months.

The National Bank of Cambodia said last month that inflation for the first half of the year rose to 25.1 percent.

San Sithan, director general of the Ministry of Planning, told the Post

Sunday the government will adopt a new model for calculating the CPI

some time near the end of the year.

"It will be in place by the end of this year," he said, adding that there would be only minor differences between the two.

"We are seeing a decrease in inflation because petrol prices have

dropped, and that has driven down the price of other goods and

services," San Sithan said.

Inflation in January 2008 - the last month government data was available - stood at more than 18 percent.



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