Inflation in Laos remains high, says govt


VIENTIANE, Aug. 28 (Xinhua): The Consumer Price Index (CPI) remains high in Laos despite the government steppeing up measures and efforts to curb rising prices at Laos markets.

According to a report from the Laos Statistics Bureau, the CPI reached 113.15 points in July, putting the annual inflation rate at 5.12 per cent.

The fluctuation of the exchange rate is one of the main factors driving inflation in the country as entrepreneurs have to spend more money to buy foreign currencies to import goods.

Inflated prices were mainly driven by categories related to food and non-alcoholic beverages, tobacco, clothing, footwear and medicines.

The price of the food and beverages increased by 8.79 percent in July compared to the figure recorded in 2019.

The move comes as Laos still imports huge quantities of food items, including seafood from neighboring countries, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday.

According to the report, the price of rice went up by 16.08 percent per annum, pork 19.38 percent, beef 7.9 percent, poultry 6.3 per cent, fish and seafood 4.3 per cent and fruit 3 per cent.

Meanwhile, prices in the clothing and footwear category rose by 5.25 per cent, household items 5.22 per cent, medicine and healthcare 5.49 per cent and services 10.23 per cent.

Clothing and footwear businesses are directly linked with exchange rates and the Lao kip has depreciated by 10.23 per cent against the Thai baht since 2019, according to the Laos Statistics Bureau.

One of the most significant features to note is that the price of jewelry surged by 32.9 percent year-on-year. For instance, gold products soared by 39.9 percent.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the Lao economy, affecting the tourism, investment, and export sectors which are considered key areas for generating foreign currency in Laos. - Xinhua
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