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In the first-half of the global financial turmoil, rising inflation was a major concern for emerging East Asian central banks. Coupled with a slowing US economy, regional central banks faced an inevitable monetary policy choice of either addressing higher inflation or supporting moderate growth. Higher food and fuel prices were the major drivers of headline inflation. Their causes, however, were a confluence of factors - whether cyclical or structural, domestic or global, supply or demand - all reinforcing each other and contributing to widespread price escalations in all classes of commodities. In response, a raft of fiscal and administrative measures of questionable effectiveness was widely implemented.
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