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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Inflation Rate Drops Slightly in August, But Worries Still Cloud Lao Economy

This Week

The country recorded an inflation rate of 25.88 percent in August, a slight decrease from July’s rate of 27.80 percent, as per information from the Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB).

According to the report, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 31.85 percent, showing signs of an improving economy when compared to last month’s increase of 37.81 percent.

Rates of health and medical equipment this month increased by 21.11 percent, while transportation costs saw a rise of 17.68 percent.

The hotel and restaurant industry’s year-on-year prices went up by 32.79 percent but observed a slim 3.87 percent increase when compared to July rates.

Goods and services whose prices increased the least this month were household products at 0.20 percent, Post office and communications at 0.57 percent, and Education at 0.75 percent.

The continued devaluation of the Lao kip, a mounting public debt along with an acute labor shortage is contributing to the ongoing economic crisis in Laos, severely impacting the lives of ordinary citizens.

Steve Hanke, an American economist and Professor of Applied Economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland said on social media, “The Lao kip has a permanent place in my rogue’s gallery of junk currencies.”

According to him, the Lao kip has depreciated over 41.36 percent against the Dollar since 1 January 2022, marking its place in his Currency Watchlist at number 13, just after the North Korean Won.

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