Vietnam's inflation rate eased for the first time in over a year in September, according to official estimates, but economic growth was lower amid government efforts to rein in prices.
The consumer price index (CPI) slowed to 22.4 percent year-on-year in September from 23 percent in August, the General Statistics Office reported on Saturday, following 12 straight months of rises.
Long focused on growth, Vietnam has shifted its focus to battling Asia's highest inflation rate in recent months, with a package of fiscal and monetary tightening to try to restore faith in the shaken economy.
The statistics office reported output growth eased slightly to 5.76 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2011, compared with 6.54 percent in the same period of 2010. The country's year-end target is around six percent.
The Asian Development Bank said earlier this month that Vietnam must continue to battle rising prices and the country is expected to see annual inflation average 18.7 percent in 2011.
The rising consumer prices have been driven by soaring food costs.
Vietnam aims to keep inflation at about 15 percent this year, up from seven percent initially planned late last year.
The government is working to address various issues including a large trade deficit, weak currency, and inefficient state spending as well as inflation.
On Friday the statistics office said Vietnam's trade deficit in the first nine months was estimated at $6.84 billion, compared with $8.5 billion for the same period last year. The trade deficit was estimated at $12.4 billion in 2010.
The United Nations in May said the communist nation has one of the world's five highest inflation rates. However, it remains below a recent peak of 28.3 percent seen in August 2008, and far from the triple-digit figures of the 1980s.© ANP/AFP