VIENTIANE, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Laos' annual average inflation rate was 23 percent in 2022, jumping from 3.8 percent in 2021, according to a report issued by the Lao Statistics Bureau on Thursday.
The soaring price of fuel, gas and other imported goods, compounded with the depreciation of the kip, the Lao currency, is among the main factors driving inflation, according to the report.
The price of food and non-alcoholic beverages category rose by 22 percent on average in 2022. The cost of medical care and medicine increased by 27.6 percent.
The price of the communications and transport rose by 41.3 percent. The cost of the hotel and restaurant category surged by 18.8 percent. The cost in the alcohol and tobacco category rose by 14.2 percent.
In addition, the cost of clothing and footwear category surged by 16.3 percent. The cost of housing category surged by 16.4 percent. Meanwhile, the cost of household utilities rose by 18.7 percent.
Inflation in Laos has increased significantly since the beginning of 2022, with rising prices continuing to inflict hardship on people struggling to earn a living.
The inflation climbed from 6.25 percent in January to 7.31 percent in February, 8.54 percent in March, 9.87 percent in April, and 13.81 percent in May.
The inflation rate was 23.6 percent in June, 25.55 percent in July, 30.01 percent in August, 34.05 percent in September, and 36.75 percent in October. It increased from 38.46 percent in November to 39.3 percent in December, according to the report.