Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The consumer price index (CPI) in 2018 is predicted to rise by 3.41 per cent, 3.55 per cent and 3.9 per cent under three scenarios.
These have been created by the aide group of the government’s Steering Committee on Price Management.
The growth levels, on the other hand, are predicted below the benchmark of 4 per cent set by the National Assembly.
“Stabilising the macro-economy coupled with addressing the increase in the prices of public services, the target of keeping the inflation rate under 4 per cent this year is achievable”, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ, head of the government’s Steering Committee on Price Management, said at the committee’s meeting on Tuesday.
Huệ ordered ministries and sectors to follow the scenario of the CPI growth rate of 3.55 per cent to take specific measures and solutions.
He said with the support of ministries and sectors, who are experienced in the management and coordination of steering work over prices of commodities, the government would accomplish the task of controlling the inflation rate within the set target.
The State Bank of Việt Nam has been asked to run a flexible monetary policy, manage credit flow in both volume and quality, continue sterilised intervention measures on foreign exchange as well as put forth equitisation of State-owned enterprises.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been requested to keep a close watch on the demand for agricultural products, helping to stabilise the market and expand export markets. It should join hands with relevant ministries and sectors to build prices of the non-public irrigation products and services, Huệ said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, should manage the fuel stabilisation fund in an efficient way as well as stabilise domestic oil and gas markets. Huệ said they must work to set up the special consumption tax for E5 petrol to encourage the trading of this biofuel product. In addition to this, media should raise public awareness of power savings.
The Ministry of Health should make careful adjustments in medical services and study to issue a circular on bidding for pharmaceutical products’ procurement and management of medical supplies.
Evaluation on current tuition fees must be conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training as well as the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport must continue to examine all projects and complete negotiations with investors and banks to lower fees at BOT (build-operate-transfer) toll stations, Huệ said.
Meanwhile, members of the Steering Committee on Price Management have discussed and proposed major solutions to control and manage prices by year-end.
They said Việt Nam could curb inflation this year but warned the Government to be careful in controlling and managing prices due to unexpected factors that may affect the average CPI in 2018 and create difficulties for price management.
By the end of this year, some factors may create pressure on prices, including increase in prices of healthcare services for people without health insurance in eight provinces and cities, surge in prices of educational services, changes in petrol prices, natural disasters and bad weather.
March CPI down
The consumer price index (CPI) for March fell 0.27 per cent month-on-month, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
According to GSO, the reduced CPI in March can be attributed to under-consumption due to lower demand after Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New year). Although the CPI in March was down 0.27 per cent compared to February, it increased by 2.66 per cent year-on- year and 0.97 per cent against the CPI in December.
This made the CPI in the first quarter of this year rise by 2.82 per cent year-on- year, GSO said.
According to the office, eight of the 11 key groups of goods and services dropped compared to February and contributed to March’s reduction in the CPI.
Prices dropped 0.77 per cent for transport, 0.62 per cent for food and catering services, 0.28 per cent for beverages and tobacco and 0.17 per cent for garments, hats and footwear.
Other groups with reduced prices included housing and building material (down 0.28 per cent), cultural, entertainment and tourism services (0.9 per cent), post and telecom services (0.01 per cent) and other goods and services (0.1 per cent).
Some groups of goods and services, however, registered an increase in prices.
These include medicine and health services (up 1.98 per cent), home appliances (0.02 per cent) and education (0.01 per cent). — VNS