December 15, 2022

Inflation in Laos reached new highs every month since May for 2022 so far

Inflation increasing

December 15, 2022 - While December's inflation rate won't be released until next month, as of this writing, the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment's Statistics Bureau reported that for the month of November, Laos saw its highest inflation yet at 38.46%, a 23-year high.

Since the month of May and every month thereafter, Laos has seen double digit increases in inflation on a year-on-year basis.  At the moment, this makes Laos' inflation increase the highest in Southeast Asia.

Here's a look at the inflationary percentage increases for each month of 2022:

  • December (still to be determined)
  • November 38.46%
  • October 36.75%
  • September 34.05%
  • August 30.01%
  • July 25.6%
  • June 23.6%
  • May 12.8%
  • April 9.9%
  • March 8.5%
  • February 7.3%
  • January 6.25%
Here's a comparison list of inflation increases of Laos' neighbors for November 2022:
  • Cambodia 4.4%
  • China 1.6%
  • Myanmar 19.6%
  • Thailand 5.6%
  • Vietnam 4.4%
For Laos, price increases have been seen across the board including fuel, food, medical services and home supplies, among many others buckets of goods and services.  Rice, the staple food of the country, saw a 48.1% increase.

The reasons for this is manifold.  The external forces such as the affects of worldwide inflation, Russia's war in Ukraine, COVID-19 pandemic and the drop in tourism all certainly contributed to the difficulty.

Lao money currency

Laos' small economy was simply ill-equipped to deal with all of these blows.  With its economy heavily reliant on imports from Thailand and China, it certainly didn't help that the Lao kip depreciated in value against the Thai baht and American dollar.

The government is aiming for inflation of 9% for 2023 as it attempts to tackle the issue.  It remains to be seen what 2023 will bring.

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