Vietnam inflation eases to two-year low

Vietnamese inflation has slowed to the weakest pace in more than two years, the government said on Tuesday, mirroring cooling economic growth in the communist state.

Consumer prices climbed 5.35 percent year-on-year in July, the smallest increase since November 2009.

Inflation was in double-digit figures until April this year. It hit 23 percent in August 2011, forcing the government to repeatedly hike official interest rates in an effort to prevent the economy from overheating.

But slowing economic growth and easing price pressures have since triggered a turnaround in policy, with a series of interest rate cuts by the central bank this year.

Economists say the sharp slowdown in consumer prices is the result of the tighter monetary policy and cooling domestic consumer demand.

Vietnam's economic growth slowed to 4.38 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the year-earlier period.

The economy grew 5.9 percent last year, and the government is aiming for a 6.0-6.5 percent expansion for the whole of 2012.

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