Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) for September rose by 0.4 percent compared to the previous month and by 4.61 percent compared to September 2013, attributable to increased education costs at the beginning of the new academic year.

During the first nine months of the year, CPI increased by a mere 0.25 percent on average each month, an all time low in the last decade, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on September 24.

In September, nine out of the 11 commodity groups recorded price hikes between 0.21 and 6.38 percent, with the highest increase for education and the lowest for home equipment and utensils.

Housing and construction materials, and transportation services saw their prices drop during that month.

The implementation of the 2014-2015 tuition fee increase in some localities, rice price hikes in southern provinces, and soaring prices for food and entertainment services over the four-day Independence Day vacation were behind this month’s CPI increase, Nguyen Duc Thang, Head of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department, said.

Rising school fees pushed the index in the country’s major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City up by 0.51 percent and 1.13 percent, respectively.

Statisticians forecast that October will see a similar CPI rise as prices for consumer goods and food will increase slightly.-VNA