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Consumer price index expands 0.32 percent in September

The consumer price index (CPI) in September rose 0.32 percent over the previous month, said General Director of the General Statistics Office (GSO) Nguyen Bich Lam.

Lam said at a press conference on September 28 that the figurerepresents a 2.2 percent rise over the number in December 2018 and a 1.98 percent increase from the same month last year.

Averagely, in the first nine months of 2019, the CPI rose 2.5 percent year on year, the lowest level in the past three years, he added.

The rise in educational services, impacts from African swine fever and flooding in some localities, as well as the State Bank of Vietnam’s efforts to keep flexible currency policies and stable macro-economy are major factors pushingup the CPI in the month, he said.

Meanwhile, Do Thi Ngoc, head of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department, explained that higher demand in the Lunar New Year in February this year led to an increase in prices of food and catering, transport and tourism services. Especially, a 4.21 percent rise in food price, including an 8.04 percent hike in pork price, pushed the CPI in January-September period up by about 0.34 percent.

At the same time, electricity price in the first nine months of this year rose 7.69 percent year on year, resulting in an additional 0.18 percent increase in the CPI.

Ngoc added that areas contributing to upturn in the CPI also included healthcare services, education, construction materials, and stationary.

On the contrary, factors that help slow down the CPI rise included petrol price, which has been reduced by 3.46 percent so far this year, helping to lower the CPI by 0.14 percent. Gas price in the first nine months of 2019 also dropped 5.97 percent.

Adjustments in tuition in Ho Chi Minh City’s public education facilities in February this year also helped lower the CPI of the country by 0.03 percent, she added.

According the GSO General Director, general inflation in the first nine months of this year is higher than the core inflation (CPI excluding foodstuff, fresh food, energy, healthcare and education services). Core inflation in the period is about 1.91 percent, showing the stable management in currency policy.