Asia's Emerging Markets Begin Monitoring Inflation

Asia’s emerging markets are starting to be concerned about inflation as new figures released Thursday from Korea, Indonesia and India all show prices increasing, according to The Wall Street Journal.


Pranab Mukherjee, India’s finance minister, told the newspaper that after larger-than-expected increase in wholesale prices, inflation is likely to go up and, thus, should be a matter of concern.


According to the Journal, Korea reported that monthly consumer prices in September rose 0.1%, a bit lower than expected but still 2.2% above a year ago. At Indonesia, consumer prices rose faster than economists expected at 2.83% in September compared with the year-earlier period. Meanwhile, over in Thailand, consumer-price index fell for the ninth straight month, down 1% from the year earlier. But prices rose on a monthly basis by 0.2%.


However, economists interviewed by the Journal say there is little near-term worry about inflation getting out of control quickly, as the increases are moderate. The global economic rebound is still fragile and commodity prices have leveled off as China's reported stockpiling of industrial metals and oil has waned, says the Journal.


But the latest data confirm that Asian central bankers have to start thinking about applying the brakes to prevent economies from overheating, says the Journal, adding that interest rates in most countries are at record low levels and need to rise sharply to get back to levels associated with average growth rates.

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