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South East Asia struck by soaring inflation

Latest update : 2008-07-23

The global surge in inflation is hitting emerging Asian countries particularly hard as commodity prices rise throughout the continent.

China's parliament on Wednesday urged the government to do more to curb inflation, while also calling for more policy support for the export sector.
  
"We must closely watch price trends to avoid overly high inflation causing severe damage to the domestic economy," the financial committee of National People's Congress said in a statement on its website.
  
The committee warned China's economy may also be moving toward lower growth and said the government should make proper policy adjustments given uncertainties in the global economy and a drop in export growth.
  
China's economy grew 10.1 percent in the second quarter, down from 10.6 percent in the first quarter, according to figures released last week.
  
Consumer price inflation slowed to 7.1 percent in June from 7.7 percent in May. But producer prices -- which signal the direction in which prices are headed -- rose faster, increasing to 8.8 percent from 8.2 percent in May.
  
China must push ahead with reform of energy pricing to reduce inflationary risks, the committee said.
  
It argued that once energy prices rose, producers would make more of it, taming inflation in the long run.
  
It said China's policymakers should consider introducing favourable policies for the textile, clothing and toy sectors to cushion the impact that a slowing global economy has had on the exporters.
  
On the currency, the committee said China must perfect its exchange rate adjustments to curb increasing inflows of speculative capital, or hot money, and weaken appreciation expectations.
  
The National People's Congress is frequently described as a rubber-stamp parliament, and the government is under no obligation whatsoever to follow advice from the legislators.
  

Date created : 2008-07-23

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