HCM City's efforts to tackle inflation are paying off, with the consumer price index levelling off.

The city government told a meeting held on June 27 to review the socio-economic situation in June and the first half that the price rise in June, of 0.69 percent, was the "lowest" in the last eight months.

It was 2.38 percent last month.

The Chairman of the People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, attributed this to scrupulous application of the Government's Resolution 11 by city agencies.

Nguyen Thanh Tai, deputy chairman of the committee, said price-stabilised consumer goods were sold through 2,560 outlets at least 15 percent less than market prices.

But the second half of this year could be more challenging, he warned.

To curb inflation, the city had suspended or slowed down 92 public projects costing 441 billion VND (21million USD).

The slowing trend notwithstanding, first-half inflation remained high at 11.54 percent compared to 4.88 percent during the same period last year. The city had hoped to keep the whole year inflation to less than 7 percent.

Yet, the economy achieved a 9.9 percent growth as output rose to 199.99 trillion VND (9.5 billion USD). The services sector accounted for more than 50 percent of this.

Exports were worth 12.5 billion USD, an increase of 14.7 percent year on year, while imports, mostly of food and medicines, 12.7 billion USD.

Quan said besides its efforts to stabilise the economy and curb inflation, the city also paid attention to the functioning of public firms, adding that most of them had achieved their trading and production plans.

It licensed 151 FDI projects worth 1.46 billion USD, a 9 percent decline in the number of projects but a 66 percent rise in capital /.