Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inflation pains felt mostly by Kingdom’s low income earners

Inflation pains felt mostly by Kingdom’s low income earners

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A vendor selling chickens and pork at Kandal market in the capital's Daun Penh district in May. Heng Chivoan

Inflation pains felt mostly by Kingdom’s low income earners

Economists recommend that households forego any unnecessary spending in order to better weather the effects of inflation as some Cambodians complain that they are living hand to mouth and are not earning enough to be able to save for emergencies like health issues or important milestone events like weddings.

“In the context of inflation being on the rise, low-income people are simply earning too little to even cover their expenses and they now face shortages and are forced to cut back on any unnecessary spending,” said Ngeth Chou, an economic researcher.

According to Chou, low-income people are also being forced to borrow more and some are spending their savings to ameliorate the effects of their poverty.

“One thing they to resort to is selling their livestock such as their chickens, ducks or other animals, but some of them will have to sell-off their savings they hold in gold or silver to pay for medical treatments and necessary expenses such as sending children to school. Others without savings will have to rely on relatives and borrow money to make ends meet,” he said.

Chou recommended that households forego any unnecessary spending, where possible.

Sim Phareth is a food vendor at a public location in Phnom Penh. She said that she has faced rising prices for nearly every ingredient and now she has become a debtor.

“Before, I did not borrow money from anyone. Now I know how to borrow to repay the loan but I end up always owing someone,” she said.

Phareth notes that – compared to 10 years ago – commodity prices are at an all-time high and even though wages have risen they haven’t kept pace with inflation.

“Before, I used to sell rice with meat for only 2,000 riel, but now it is 4,000 riel. For ingredients, I used to spend 100,000 riel whereas now I have to spend 200,000 riel but my income is only 200,000 riel per day, including those costs and other necessary expenses each month. I pay around $300 for school fees, house rental fees, water and electricity. I have no savings now. In the past there was at least some money left over to save for emergencies,” she said.

Another wholesaler, who asked not to be named, said she was forced to lose money in order to keep regular customers.

“When the price goes up, I am the seller, it is also difficult, and my regular customers as well as my new customers always say that I sell in a high price. And some of the goods when go up in price and after that the prices can fall, but some of the goods go up and continue to rise because they are imported from abroad, which has to go through tariff barriers,” she said.

Vegetables at the markets used to be sold cheaply, but prices have skyrocketed to an all-time high. One kilogram of cabbage now costs 7,000 riel.

The inflation issue has not escaped the notice of the government, which has announced plans to provide cash to 600,000 vulnerable households affected by inflation with two million people benefiting.


  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Ministry taking steps over Thai ‘replica’ of Angkor Wat

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has dispatched experts to inspect the ongoing construction of a temple in Wat Phu Man Fah, located in Thailand’s Buriram province. This temple appears to be a replica of Cambodia’s renowned Angkor Wat. The ministry said

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • PM to open new Siem Reap int’l airport December 1

    Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese leaders would jointly participate in the official opening of the new Chinese-invested Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport on December 1. The airport symbolises a new page in the history of Cambodian aviation, which will be able to welcome long-distance flights to

  • Minimum wage set at $204, after Sep 28 vote

    The minimum wage for factory workers in the garment, footwear and travel goods industries for 2024 has been decided at $204 per month, with the government contributing $2. Following several negotiation sessions, the tripartite talks reached an agreement during a September 28 vote, with 46 of 51 votes supporting the $202 figure.

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former