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Consumer prices fall during July

Update: July, 25/2012 - 09:55
HA NOI — The consumer price index in July fell 0.29 per cent against the previous month, which also fell 0.26 per cent, General Statistics Office figures show.

However, the index was up 2.22 per cent from last December and up 5.35 per cent against last July.

"The lower index over the past two months reflected the local economic situation with major problems of stagnant production and lower consumption, plus the global economic recession with problems of public debt and unemployment," said Nguyen Duc Thang, director of the GSO's Pricing Department.

One of the main reasons for a lower CPI was the fall in oil and gas prices on June 21 and July 2, a total fall of 6.05 per cent.

The gas price in July slumped 8.93 per cent against the previous month, transportation costs dropped 2.7 per cent and the price of housing and construction materials decreased by 0.93 per cent.

Prices of foodstuffs shrank by 0.47 per cent due to abundant supplies and high-yielding crops nation-wide. In addition, the quantity and price of export rice fell because of serious competition from India and Myanmar. Notably, these goods accounted for 40 per cent of the total CPI basket.

The gold price and US dollar exchange rate went down by 0.31 and 0.05 per cent respectively.

However, higher prices of some commodities helped rein in the index downturn, especially drug and health care costs which increased strongly by 3.36 per cent.

Prices of goods and service groups such as education, home appliances, textiles and garments, hats, footwear, beverage and tobacco increased by 0.11-0.5 per cent.

It was expected that the CPI in August would increase because the Ministry of Health had recently decided to increase health care service costs.

A price hike in power and oil at the same time would also push up prices of other relevant goods and services, he said.

Le Dinh An, a former director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's National Centre for Socio-economic Information and Forecasting, said that if disbursements for public investment was poor, and the number of bankrupt enterprises increased, and inventories were higher, the CPI in August could continue falling.

Meanwhile, experts said the index in September would rise due to higher consumption at the beginning of the new school year, mid-autumn festival and National Day. — VNS

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