HA NOI (VNS)— The nation's consumer price index (CPI) increased 6.81 per cent this December compared to the same time last year, meeting the Government's target of controlling inflation rate at a single-digit level this year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported yesterday.
|A consumer buys fresh vegetables at a traditional market in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
The rate was much lower than last year's figure of 18.13 per cent. However, the average CPI for this year was up 9.21 per cent over the average index of 2011, according to the office.
December's CPI increased 0.27 per cent month-on-month, although prices of garment and footwear products went up a significant 1.17 per cent due to rising demand ahead of the New Year holidays.
This month, prices of food and restaurant services increased 0.28 per cent; culture, entertainment and tourism gained 0.34 per cent; tobacco and beverages rose by 0.32 per cent and household devices rose 0.59 per cent.
Many groups of goods experienced insignificant price increases in December, including medicine and healthcare services, up 0.14 per cent, and education, increasing 0.09 per cent.
Director of the GSO's Integrated Statistics Department, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van, said that the low CPI increase of 6.81 per cent was a result of the Government's management, particularly thanks to an instruction issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to strengthen price administration and stabilisation in late September.
Van noted that domestic market prices witnessed some extraordinary developments this year, with prices increasing only a moderate 1-1.37 per cent in the first two months, compared to the usual trend of them rising over 2 per cent during this period due to surging demand in the days of Lunar New Year.
Prices went up the most sharply in September at 2.2 per cent due to global economic declines causing slumping domestic demand and increasing inventories, low credit growth, high bad debt ratios and a frozen property market, she said.
September's development was also due to prices of healthcare and education services being stabilised by the Government after some localities had raised prices a few months before, she added.
For the whole year, prices of educational goods and services posted the sharpest increase, at over 17 per cent, closely followed by medicine and healthcare services, at 16.34 per cent.
Gold prices in December increased 7.83 per cent year-on-year, while US dollar prices have witnessed the most stable year ever, increasing only 0.18 per cent in 2012, according to the GSO.
GDP slows to 5.03 per cent in 2012
Viet Nam's economy expanded only 5.03 per cent in 2012, down from 5.89 per cent the previous year, the GSO also announced yesterday.
The growth rate was the slowest since 1999 and was much lower than the targeted 6.5 per cent. The rate was even slower than the World Bank's prediction of 5.2 per cent earlier this month.
The statistics were released at a press conference in the capital, with GSO's general director Do Thuc telling reporters that the growth rate was "acceptable" despite fears that the downward growth trend could affect the country's 2011-15 socio-economic development plan.
"The 5.03 per cent growth rate was still extremely valuable considering the struggle faced by the entire economy and the measures needed to curb inflation and stabilise the macro-economy," Thuc said.
The GSO predicted GDP growth could reach 5.5 per cent in 2013 as inflation has been brought under control. – VNS