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Prices steady in October

Prices steady in October

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Women buy pork from a vendor at a small night market in Phnom Penh's Meanchey district. Declining meat prices helped to soften inflation in October.

Consumer prices in the Kingdom rose about five per cent year-on-year in October, according to the National Institute of Statistics, though they held steady from September.

Declining food and fuel prices, along with an appreciating US dollar, were listed as the main reasons for the stabilisation last month, off-icials said.

“We noticed that we got more supplies of fish, meat and some other foods despite the floods,” which helped to ease food costs, National Institute of Statistics deputy director-general Khin Song said yesterday.

“We’re also fortunate that the price of gasoline, which is a main factor in pushing other goods’ prices up, decreased.”

Khin Song did note there had been an increase in the price of some produce. The NIS reported that year-on-year inflation rose 5.2 per cent in October, with food prices accounting for much of the growth.

Meat alone rose about 20 per cent in the past 12 months, according to the NIS, although gasoline jumped 14 per cent.

However, NIS data showed pork prices had decreased by one per cent from September, while had duck dipped 0.5 per cent. Fish and other seafood fell 2.5 per cent.

At the same time, the cost of rice grew by 3.4 per cent, and fruits and vegetables increased by 5.7 per cent. Gasoline prices decreased by 2.4 per cent.

Kang Chandararot, president of the Cambodia Institute for Development Study, said the unchanged inflation rate showed the limited impact of the flood on some sectors, while milled rice, vegetables and fruit saw the biggest effects.

“We have other food products to supply the country despite the floods,” he said, pointing also to cheaper imports thanks to a stronger greenback. Government intervention by injecting greater supplies of food into the market had also worked to bring down prices, Kang Chandararot said.

He described the inflation rate as “manageable”, saying it largely reflected the steady growth of the Kingdom’s economy.

Kang Chandararot estimated that Cambodia would finish the year below the National Bank of Cambodia’s inflation forecast of 6.5 per cent, provided the government worked to keep price increases near the five per cent mark for the remainder of 2011.

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