The country's inflation rate is expected to remain high in March, following a hike in petrol prices and appreciation of the US dollar, according to an economics expert.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on Feb. 24, Pham Chi Lan said that electricity prices would also rise by more than 15 percent in March, which would affect the prices of other goods and services.

"Although the Government on Feb. 24 issued a resolution on measures aimed to control inflation, the consumer price index (CPI) will not fall in March," she said. "I hope that government agencies immediately implement the Government's anti-inflation measures."

The high CPI could adversely affect both businesses and households, she said.

Enterprises usually raised the prices of their goods and services when input costs increased, she said, noting that this would make locally made goods become less competitive than imported ones.

She said that businesses should restructure their production and trading strategies, including using electricity more efficiently and upgrading technology to cut costs and improve quality.

This would only help them cope not with the current economic pressure but also aid their long-term competitiveness.

The country's CPI in February rose 12.31 percent over the same period last year, and was up 3.87 percent compared to December./.