|Viet Nam's consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.51 per cent in December compared with the previous month and increased by 6.04 over the same period last year.—VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam's consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.51 per cent in December compared with the previous month and increased by 6.04 per cent over December last year, which the average CPI this year increased by 6.6 per cent over 2012, marked the lowest rate of increase recorded over the past decade.
The GSO revealed that the prices of housing and construction materials recorded the highest monthly rise, with an increase of 2.31 per cent.
The prices of garments, hats and footwear came second, rising by 0.57 per cent, and the prices of food and food products came third, with a 0.49 per cent rise. The prices of goods and services related to culture, entertainment and tourism rose 0.13 per cent.
The prices of traffic services dropped by 0.23 per cent and that of postal services and telecommunications decreased by 0.01 per cent in December.
In HCM City, the CPI in December rose by 0.39 per cent over November and rose 5.2 per cent compared with the same period last year. The city's rate is lower than that in many other cities and provinces including Ha Noi and Hai Phong because it has successfully controlled prices through activities such as the market stabilisation programme, which provides nearly 7,600 points of sale, of which nearly 3,300 sell food.
This has made the city's average CPI increase at 3.67 per cent over 2012.
Ha Noi's CPI in December rose 0.35 per cent over November and rose by 7.04 per cent compared with the same period last year. This year, the capital city's average CPI increased by 6.37 per cent over last year.
Head of the GSO Nguyen Bich Lam said to Vietnam News Agency that with this level of increase in the CPI, the National Assembly's target to curb inflation in 2013 is within reach.
He attributed the CPI rate to the government's management as well as efforts made by government branches and agencies to implement drastic measures and policies to control inflation, market prices and the supply and demand of goods during the last few months of the year.
The abundant supply of food, thanks to bumper crops this year, plus the low purchasing power have also contributed to the strong performance, he added.
Lam further noted that as many as 17 cities and provinces nation-wide have adjusted healthcare costs, resulting in a rise of 19.5 per cent in the CPI of medicines and healthcare services.
Lam blamed the accelerated rate of the CPI increase on the localities' increase in tuition fees, hikes in the prices of oil and gas and electricity, and the effect of the 15 storms that have hit Viet Nam so far this year.
Lam claimed that the CPI in January 2014 is expected to see a major jump due to a high demand for commodities during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. The GSO forecast that the CPI will edge up by only 7 per cent next year.
The GSO indicated that the country's GDP in 2013 is estimated to reach 5.42 per cent, 0.08 per cent lower than the target but still higher than the 2012 rate of 5.25 per cent, pointing out that there are signs of recovery. — VNS