Consumers buy fruits at a wet market. (Photo: www.baoangiang.com.vn)
Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI), a gauge of inflation, is likely to increase more than 5% this year, said Vu Thi Thu Thuy, director of the Price Statistics Department under the General Statistics Office (GSO) Thursday.
Among the cost-pushing factors, Ms. Thuy named heath services and education fees that will have their prices raised in July and September this year.
In addition, petroleum prices have rebounded recently. Price regulators hiked prices of gasoline and oil on March 21, the first increase this year and in many months.
Prices of steel and monosodium glutamate (MSG) will also go up after the Ministry of Industry and Trade lifted their import tariffs to protect local production. Moreover, capital needs are growing, which may send interest rates and consumer prices rising, Ms. Thuy added.
She noted that rice prices are poised to pick up due to higher demand for export and adverse natural disaster such as cold spells and saline intrusion.
According to the government-run office, the CPI in the first quarter of this year increased 1.25% from the same period of 2015.
The index in March climbed 0.57% month-on-month and 0.99% from December 2015. The core inflation in the month, however, declined 0.09% from February but increased 1.64% year-on-year.