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CPI grows 3.57% in nine months
The Saigon Times Daily
Saturday,  Sep 29, 2018,17:15 (GMT+7)

CPI grows 3.57% in nine months

The Saigon Times Daily

Nguyen Bich Lam, head of the General Statistics Office, speaks at a press conference to update the socio-economic situation for the nine month period of this year on September 28 – PHOTO: VGP

HCMC – Vietnam’s headline consumer price index (CPI) in the January-September period rose 3.57% from one year earlier, compared to the 4.14% growth in the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam said at a press conference on September 28 that September’s CPI expanded 0.59% against the previous month, 3.98% from the same period last year, and 3.2% from last December.

In the last three quarters, CPI gained a 0.35% month-on-month on average, but the pace slowed to 0.04% in August and September, when the eight- and nine-month CPI growth was 3.53% and 3.57%, respectively.

Lam said the target of keeping this year’s inflation under 4%, as set by the National Assembly, could be achievable. However, many risk factors from the international situation, including the escalating trade war between China and the United States, the political tension in the Middle East, and the crisis in Turkey, could affect domestic prices throughout the remainder of the year.

He called upon ministries, central agencies and local governments to keep a close watch on market fluctuations and suggest solutions to the Government and particularly, the Steering Committee for Price Management to help curb inflation and stabilize the macro-economy.

In its latest report on the socio-economic situation, the GSO noted that ten out of eleven groups of goods and services in the basket of commodities used to calculate the CPI increased in prices in September.

The highest growth was seen in the education group, with a 5.07% rise, as 49 central-level provinces and cities hiked their tuition fees, in line with the Government’s Decree 86/2015 on the mechanisms for the collection and management of tuition fees applicable to educational institutions. Besides this, the shopping demand in the new academic year was strong.

The transport group inched up 0.82%, due to the impacts from two fuel price adjustments in September. As a result, the fuel price index rose by 1.77%, resulting in an increase in the CPI of some 0.08%.

The most-weighted group – essential goods and catering services – rose 0.44%, of which foodstuffs edged up 0.28%, while food was up 0.51%.

The only group that saw a price decline was post and telecommunications, at minus 0.08%.

Overall, the CPI in quarter three was 0.72% higher than in the previous quarter, representing a year-on-year increase of 4.14%. The average index in nine months expanded 3.57%, compared with the one year-ago period.

The report notes that basic inflation – CPI exclusive of fresh food, energy and State-controlled services, such as healthcare and education – increased by 0.14% month-on-month and by 1.61% year-on-year, leading to a nine-month core inflation growth of 1.41%.

Inflation under control: Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (standing) speaks at a meeting of the Steering Committee for Price Management in Hanoi on September 28 to evaluate its performance in the nine-month period and describe the scenario for the remainder of 2018– PHOTO: VGP

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, who is also the head of the Steering Committee for Price Management, said at a meeting at the Government headquarters on the same day that the developments in inflation in September and the nine-month period of this year matched predictions issued earlier this year.

He stated that ministries, central agencies and local governments have taken various measures to control prices, and reduce costs for enterprises, as well as the entire economy.

CPI in September – the starting month of a new academic year with high demand for teaching and learning tools, as well as tuition pressures, coupled with a surge in world oil prices – rose by only 0.59% over the previous month, which was lower than the predicted increase of 0.6-0.7%.

The senior Government leader hailed the efforts of the Ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance in fuel price management, saying that their results helped stabilize the macro-economy and guarantee a favorable environment for investment and business, as well as the growth that reached 6.98% during the nine months.

Inflation management is facing numerous challenges, but is still under Government control, Hue noted.

He also pointed to the need to keep a close watch on the prices of necessities, such as food, foodstuff, oil and gas, especially at the time of the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Day, or at the events of natural disasters like flooding.

Also, the Deputy Prime Minister ordered the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to apply monetary policies in a flexible manner, in line with the market’s signals, in order to stabilize interest rates and exchange rates, as well as keep core inflation at some 1.5-1.6%.

The Ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance were told to closely follow the developments of global fuel prices to avoid their impact on the nation’s CPI.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should balance the demand and supply of food and foodstuff, especially pork, and coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to stabilize food prices, while the Ministries of Industry-Trade and Construction should regulate the production of construction materials to avoid shortages.

He also requested the Ministry of Finance and the SBV to coordinate in adjusting fiscal and monetary policies, as well as regulating deposits in the SBV and the State Treasury, thereby strengthening the circulation of money and easing pressure on inflation.

Relevant agencies should submit price management scenarios for 2019, with a target of keeping inflation at about 4%, Hue said.

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