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GDP up 5% in nine months but may still miss target

Update: September, 25/2013 - 09:07

The CPI was up 4.63 per cent from December 2012 and 6.3 per cent against September last year.— Photo VGP

HA NOI (VNS) — The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 5.14 per cent in the first nine months of this year, according to a report released yesterday by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The report said that the trade and services sector posted the highest GDP growth of 6.25 per cent year-on-year, followed by the construction industry with 5.02 per cent and the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector with 2.39 per cent.

GDP growth was better than last year's 4.73 per cent and even slightly increased from quarter to quarter, rising from 4.89 per cent in Q1 to 5 per cent in Q2.

However, few experts expect the country to meet the initial target of 5.5 per cent approved by the National Assembly. The Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences, for instance, predicted modest growth of 4.92 per cent.

CPI climbs

Yesterday, the General Statistics Office also reported that the country's consumer price index (CPI) in September rose 1.06 per cent against the previous month due to the new school year and a rise in school tuition.

The CPI was up 4.63 per cent from December 2012 and 6.3 per cent against September last year.

Nguyen Duc Thang, director of the GSO Consumer Price Index Department, said that September was the third month this year in which the monthly CPI rose more than 1 per cent.

The January and February increase was due to the holiday season; this one was due to the 10.66 per cent increase in school tuition in 46 cities and provinces.

In HCM City, the People's Committee gave permission to raise fees at all school levels, while in Ha Noi, the higher tuition is applied only at universities, colleges and vocational training institutions.

Without the education sector, the country's September CPI increase would only be 0.52 per cent, according to GSO estimates.

If last month's cost increase of medicine and healthcare services was also exempted, CPI by the end of September would have risen only 3.7 per cent against December last year.

In September, 9 of the 11 goods contributing to the CPI surged in price. Education recorded the highest price increase of 9.38 per cent.

A 0.65 per cent price hike for food and restaurant services also contributed to pushing up this month's CPI, Thang said. The increase was due to bad weather, which restricted supply.

Transport prices dropped 0.24 per cent and prices for postal services and telecommunications eased 0.01 per cent. Thang said that the slight decline of petrol prices in mid-September contributed to the CPI increase.

Gold prices, which do not factor into the CPI, rose 1.97 per cent while US dollar prices fell by 0.26 per cent.

HCM City posted CPI growth of 3.13 per cent, up 4.43 per cent from December 2012 and 5.13 per cent from the previous year.

Ha Noi saw a 0.57 per cent month-on-month increase, up by 5.79 per cent from December 2012 and 6.68 per cent from September 2012.

Ban Viet Securities Co kept its yearly CPI forecast unchanged, saying that CPI would rise 6.7-6.8 per cent. — VNS

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