A mining boom helped Mongolia’s economy grow by an eye-popping 17.3 percent in 2011, according to government statistics. But while investors’ hopes are riding high at the news, there is little rejoicing among the country’s lower-income households for whom rapid growth means worrisome inflation.
At his shoe stand in Ulaanbaatar’s suburban Narantuul Market, Mongolia’s largest, Amgalan Batdorj is leery when it comes to the mining boom. With his customers worried about higher living costs, he has had to cut his prices to keep sales up. "My customers are middle- to lower-income people. Most of us [traders] here haven't dared increase prices with people worrying more about food prices," he said.
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Pearly Jacob is a freelance journalist based in Ulaanbaatar.