April 12, 2011

Cambodia's inflation to hit 6.5 pct in 2011: IMF

(Xinhua News Agency) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast the inflation rate in Cambodia for 2011 could stand at 6.5 percent, more than double from 3.1 percent last year, according to the Fund's World Economic Outlook 2011 on Tuesday.

The Fund's forecast is the highest of all predictors. The World Bank forecast the country's inflation rate at 5 percent, the Asian Development Bank at 5.5 percent and the government of Cambodia at below 5 percent.

Cambodian economists have agreed with the forecast by the IMF.

"It could be reached that level as now we have observed that petroleum and food prices in Cambodia have been skyrocketing," president of Cambodia Institute for Development Study Kang Chandararot said, adding "moreover, the greenback has been depreciating against riel currency."

"However, the rate is still low and manageable," he said.

Petroleum prices in Cambodia have increased by 6 percent since the start of the year. Now a liter of Gold gasoline goes for 1.33 U.S. dollars, up from 1.25 U.S. dollars in January, while the U.S. dollar currency has depreciated about 2 percent to 3,982 riels a U. S. dollar now from 4,060 riels a U.S. dollar earlier this year.

The IMF predicts that Cambodia's gross domestic product growth (GDP) in 2011 is 6.5 percent -- the same rate of the predictions by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and at a similar rate forecast by the government of Cambodia between 6 and 7 percent.

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