ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
CPI up by 0.86% in first half
Vietnam: Consumer price index (CPI) in the first half of this year increased by 0.86 per cent over the same period last year, the General Statistics Office reported the day before yesterday.
The average growth of CPI during the period was 0.1 per cent per month, the lowest increase in the past ten years.
CPI in June showed a month-on-month increase of 0.35 per cent.
The goods that saw price growth included beverages and tobacco, garments, footwear, construction materials, as well as medicine and health-care services, marking an increase of 0.24 per cent, 0.17 per cent, 0.3 per cent, and 0.38 per cent, respectively.
Other goods also recorded growth, including 3.54 per cent in transport items, 0.26 per cent in cultural, entertainment, and tourism services, and 0.12 per cent in other commodities and services.
Director of the General Statistics Office Nguyen Bich Lam said the increase in CPI in the first six months can be attributed to the Government's policies, including the hikes in health-care services prices in HCM City from June 1, electricity rates from March 16, and workers' minimum salary from January 1.
"The State Bank of Viet Nam increased the interbank exchange rates twice this year, which had significant impacts on the prices of a number of imported commodities and materials, which further led to an increase in the prices of various domestic products," he noted.
Market-related factors also contributed to the rise in CPI, he said, adding that the first two months of this year saw a high increase in the purchasing power of local residents, as well as a rise in the prices of a number of commodities such as beverages, tobacco, and garments and textiles on the occasion of Tet (Lunar New Year festival). An increased demand for traveling during Tet and other national holidays also pushed the CPI of tourism services up.
However, Lam said, the increase in CPI in the first half of this year was lower than the previous year's because of several reasons.
Firstly, the winter-spring and summer-autumn crop got a bumper harvest, leading to an abundant supply of food. Secondly, the prices of essential commodities in the world market was quite stable.
Moreover, oil and petroleum prices were reduced three times and increased three times this year, but the increases were made at the end of May and early June so that it did not much lead to the adjustment of CPI on oil and petroleum.
Meanwhile, a reduction in the world gas price led to a decrease in the domestic gas price.
"CPI in the first six months of this year increased at a low rate, helping the Government's target to keep inflation under control. However, potential risks relating to a possible increase of oil and petroleum prices put pressure on the tasks to curb inflation," Lam observed.
He suggested that the Government continue guiding relevant ministries and agencies to keep a close watch over changes in prices and markets, as well as to increase the inspection and supervision of markets.
The Government and a number of ministries should also consider a time to adjust the prices of a number of essential commodities to avoid any huge impact on CPI psychology, he added.
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