Vietnam to step up efforts to calm prices, dong moves

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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked the country's authorities to strengthen efforts to keep prices stable and stabilize the exchange rate, a government statement showed.

Ministries have been asked to intensify measures to reduce price increases and the central bank should take "strong" actions to control and stabilize domestic gold prices, the dong's moves and bank interest rates, according to the statement posted on the government's website.

"The socio-economic situation in November has seen some complicated developments with big increases in prices of goods and services that may pick up further toward the year-end and Tet Lunar New Year holiday," the government said. The dong's weakening and rising gold prices "have made people worried," it said. Vietnam will celebrate Tet in February.

Vietnam's inflation accelerated for a third month in November to the fastest pace in 20 months, with consumer prices rising 11.09 percent from a year earlier. The country needs a "coherent package" of measures including higher interest rates to re-establish its monetary policy credibility and slow inflation, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.

The State Bank of Vietnam plans to prioritize macroeconomic stability and inflation control next year, it said in a statement Tuesday.

Dung told ministries to work together and speed up exports while limiting imports to narrow the trade gap, according to today's statement. Authorities including the central bank need to increase public access to information on policies to improve awareness of what policy makers are doing, the government said.

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