Vietnam finance minister says inflation not too fast

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Vietnam's inflation rate didn't accelerate too quickly in the first quarter, Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh said.

"The pace of increases in consumer prices in the first quarter isn't so fast," Ninh said in an interview in Nha Trang Wednesday. He said the government would not let inflation rise to a "very high" level. "If inflation reaches double-digits, it will be a problem."

Vietnamese inflation accelerated to a one-year high in March, with consumer prices rising 9.46 percent from a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office. Economic growth quickened to 5.83 percent in the first quarter after expanding 5.3 percent in 2009.

The country plans to raise VND56 trillion (US$2.9 billion) this year through bond sales to build roads, houses and schools and support economic expansion. The government sold 33 trillion dong of local-currency securities in 2009, falling short of a plan to raise 100 trillion dong from bond offerings, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, deputy director general of banking and finance at the finance ministry, said in December.

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