Lao
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Laos' inflation rate eases to 27.8 pct in July

VIENTIANE, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The year-on-year inflation rate in Laos eased to 27.8 percent in July, down from 28.64 percent in June, official data showed.

Depreciation of the Lao currency kip is one of the main factors driving inflation, as one-third of the goods used to calculate price rises are imported.

In July, the hike in consumer prices was mainly driven by food and non-alcoholic beverage category, which surged by 37.8 percent year on year, according to a report released by the Lao Statistics Bureau website on Sunday.

This was followed by hotel and restaurant category at 32.8 percent, clothing and footwear category at 28.5 percent, household goods at 24.7 percent, and medical care and medicines category at 20.8 percent.

Laos' inflation rate dipped slightly to 40.97 percent in March, 39.89 percent in April and 38.86 percent in May after the country saw the peak of headline inflation recorded at 41.26 percent in February, according to the report.

However, the figure remains sky-high, causing real household incomes to fall for many people, weakening consumption and investment.

Laos' central bank will continue to tighten its monetary policy to stabilize the value of the kip as part of efforts to curb inflation and minimize the impact on the economy and the living standards of ordinary people.