Consumers shop at a supermarket (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The average consumer price index (CPI) in the nine months of 2018 rose by 3.57 percent year on year, compared to the 4.14-percent growth in the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

At a press conference on September 28, GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam said CPI in September increased 0.59 percent from last month, 3.98 percent from the same period last year, and 3.2 percent from last December.

In the last three quarters, CPI gained 0.35 percent month on month on average, but the pace slowed down to 0.04 percent between August and September when the eight-month and nine-month CPI growth was 3.53 percent and 3.57 percent, respectively.

Lam said the CPI development so far this year has evidenced active moves taken by the Government, the steering board for price management, ministries, sectors and localities to control prices. Therefore, the target of keeping this year’s inflation under 4 percent as set by the National Assembly is achievable.

However, there remain many risk factors from the international situation, including the US-China trade war, the political tension in the Middle East and the crisis in Turkey, which could affect domestic prices in the remaining months of 2018.

He called on ministries, sectors and localities to keep a close watch on market fluctuations to suggest solutions to the Government and the steering board for price management to help control inflation and stabilise the macro-economy.

Elaborating contributions to the nine-month CPI expansion, the GSO’s Price Statistics Department noted price increases in health care and educational services, food, petrol, and house and household appliance maintenance services. Higher travel demand during holidays also boosted prices in the tourism group.

The department said sectors and authorities at all levels have been taking actions to keep the CPI growth rate at less than 4 percent this year. While the Ministry of Finance has enhanced monitoring price management, it has also coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to align domestic petrol prices with the global market.

The State Bank of Vietnam has also persisted in a monetary policy aiming at ensuring the macroeconomic stability. As of September 24, the US Federal Reserve had raised interest rates twice, in March and June. As a result, the US dollar has appreciated against other currencies, and the VND/USD exchange rate has also tended to rise. 

However, by setting the daily reference exchange rate in comparison with eight major currencies, domestic USD prices are still within the trading band of +/- 3 percent, the department said, adding that gold prices in the domestic market were in line with world prices.-VNA