Cambodia's inflation rate stands at 2.5 percent in H1 hinh anh 1The NBC projects a 2.5-2.8 percent inflation rate in the second half of this year on anticipated price hikes on such items as foodstuff and goods and services related to petroleum. (Photo: phnompenhpost.com)

Phnom Penh (VNA)Cambodia's inflation rate in the first half of this year was 2.5 percent, a decline of 0.6 percentage point compared to the second half of last year, according to a report released by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) last week.

The Cambodian consumer price index (CPI) remained at a relatively low level at the beginning of this year, the report said.

The Cambodian government and economic observers said it is still manageable and the CPI was expected to accelerate later in the year when world oil prices are forecast to inch up, The Phnom Penh Post reported.

The NBC predicted that the inflation rate for the rest of the year would be 2.5-2.8 percent, with the rising prices in the segment of goods and services related to petroleum.

According to the NBC, the inflation rate had been low at the beginning of the year but gathered pace from March. The costs of foodstuffs were up 2.9 percent compared to last year’s figure, due to a sharp jump in demand after the third coronavirus outbreak – dubbed the “February 20 community event” marking the date it was first detected – and subsequent lockdown, the central bank said.

On the other hand, the price of petroleum-related goods and services surged 5.3 percent in the past year, it said.

NBC Governor Chea Chanto said the central bank has been proactive in stimulating economic activity. 

The monetary policy has been conducted in a precautionary manner, with tactical foreign exchange (forex) interventions and reductions in interest rates for loans in the local currency, he said, adding that the central bank has been “maintaining the reserve requirement at a lower rate, giving financial institutions greater ability to hold enough liquidity to respond to demands for more loans”./.

VNA