Vietnam should stick with tight monetary policy: economists

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Leading economists in the country say the government should be consistent in pursuing its tight monetary policy and wait for inflation to start easing in the next few months.

Le Xuan Nghia, deputy chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission said, inflation may slow in May, when the government's monetary policies start taking effect.

He said the policy tightening needs to stay on for long enough or else consumer prices will resume their upward trend, as seen in the second half of 2010.

Vu Thanh Tu Anh of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program said inflation may ease at the end of September as long as the government sticks to its policies.

Anh said that Vietnam's inflation was too high compared to other countries in Asia and blamed it on fast credit growth, dong devaluations and petroleum price hikes.

Vietnam's consumer price index rose 13.9 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office. The office will release the data for April in the next few days, said General Director Do Thuc.

He warned that inflation in April would be even higher than in previous months.

Experts said that with year-to-date inflation already reaching 6 percent, a surge of only 1 percent in April's consumer price index would break the annual inflation target.

Vietnam plans to keep inflation at 7 percent this year. The government in February launched a series of measures to control inflation and restore macroeconomic stability, which includes tightening credit growth and supervision over the gold and currency markets.

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