Keeping inflation below 4 percent possible: Deputy PM hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue. (Photo: VNA)

Hano​i (VNA) – Keeping average inflation below 4 percent is achievable this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue during a meeting of the Steering Committee on Price Management last weekend.

Hue chaired the committee’s meeting on July 1 to review governmental price management work in the first half of 2017 and plan tasks for the remaining months.

During the event, Director of the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Price Management Nguyen Anh Tuan gave attendees an overview of Consumer Price Index (CPI) movement, saying the average CPI in the first six months of 2017 rose 4.15 percent from the same period last year with monthly inflation rates moving downwards.

Core inflation saw an average increase of 1.52 percent year on year, lower than projected growth of 1.6 – 1.8 percent, he noted.

He noted this was partly due to post-holiday effects caused by Lunar New Year and the government increasing rates for public healthcare and education services, while regional minimum wages also boosted inflation.

However, falling pork prices due to pig oversupply and tighter state management helped keep inflation down.

Deputy PM Hue lauded the price management of ministries and state agencies during the period, saying based on statistics by the Ministry of Finance and the General Statistics Office of Vietnam and other reports, it is possible to bring average inflation to below 4 percent this year.

He urged the State Bank of Vietnam to maintain a flexible monetary policy, keep the core interest rate at about 1.6 percent and carry out measures to stablise exchange rates and the foreign exchange market.

The Deputy PM advised the central bank to build a plan for lending interest rates in reference to inflation rate and market developments to support economic growth.

He also directed the Ministry of Health and the Social Insurance Agency to facilitate public tendering process of drugs, including those on the essential drug list of the Social Insurance Agency in a bid to reduce drug prices by 10-15 percent.-VNA