Laos Inflation Reaches 22-year High at 23.6 Percent

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Year-on-year inflation in Laos increased to 23.6 percent in June, according to the latest statistics from the Lao Statistics Bureau.

Vientiane Times reports that the inflation rate is the highest since May 2000, with rising oil and consumer prices continuing to hit the pockets of people in Laos.

Authorities say the rising price of petrol, cooking gas, and other imported items, together with the depreciation of the Lao kip, are fuelling runaway inflation.

The consumer price index has soared well over estimates and beyond the government-set ceiling of 12 percent.

On 7 June, the Prime Minister of Laos formed a special taskforce to address the country’s economic problems and resolve an ongoing fuel crisis.

The taskforce is responsible for instituting measures to ensure the uninterrupted flow of fuel into the country to meet demand, as well as ensuring fuel prices are adjusted in a timely manner and in accordance with global market fluctuation.

The nation has seen a temprorary reprieve from chronic fuel shortages after the government issued a line of credit to fuel importers, allowing them to bring 200 million liters of fuel into the country.

This shipment of fuel is expected to last through July and August.

Meanwhile, the national minimum wage has been raised this month to assist low-income earners amid the rising cost of living.