Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
The consumer price index (CPI) in September slipped by 0.21 percent against the previous month and increased by only 0.4 percent over last December, as announced at a press conference in Hanoi on September 24.

This is the first time in 10 years that the September CPI has dropped on a monthly basis, and the increase of 0.4 percent compared to last December is also the lowest level over the past decade, said Director of the General Statistics Office’s Price Statistics Department Vu Thi Thu Thuy.

According to Thuy, the reduction is mainly due to petrol price drops on August 19 and September 3.

Sharp price declines were reported in transport (3.17 percent) while housing and construction materials saw a reduction of 0.68 percent; restaurant and food services, 0.13 percent; and telecommunications, 0.07 percent.

Meanwhile, slight increases were seen in education (1.24 percent- as the new school year began in early September); medicines and health services (0.43 percent); headwear, garment-textile and footwear (0.21 percent); household appliances (0.07 percent); and culture-entertainment-tourism (0.03 percent).

In the month, the price of gold rose by 3.54 percent, while the price of USD went up 2.71 percent after the State Bank of Vietnam increased the average inter-bank exchange rate between the VND and USD by one percent on August 19 and the fluctuation band for exchange rates to +/- two percent.

Deputy Head of the General Statistic Office Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc said the September basic inflation (excluding food and fresh foodstuff, energy and State-controlled commodicites such as healthcare and education services) increased by 1.87 percent against the same period last year, bringing the inflation rate in the first nine months of this year to 2.15 percent.

October’s CPI is forecast to decrease slightly due to drops in food prices.-VNA