Friday, April 16, 2004

T&T: Rising inflation a problem

Government is facing a tough challenge to keep inflation in check against the backdrop of growing complaints by consumers of an increasing cost of living.

“Inflation continues to be the biggest problem that the Government faces as we accelerate the rate of the country’s development,” Prime Minister Patrick Manning said at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at Whitehall, Port-of-Spain.

In light of this, Government has has set a seven per cent maximum rate of inflation even though he assured T&T is well below that projection.

“We set an inflation level of seven per cent. It is an upper limit. I don’t have the latest figures for inflation but we are not at seven. When you get there you will know,” Manning said yesterday.

The seven rate is above the four to five per cent inflation target mentioned by Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams last month.

The inflation rate for 2003 was 3.8 per cent.

Williams had noted inflationary pressures have been building in the first few months of 2004, although official figures are not yet available.

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