A recent rise in fuel prices and the upcoming adjustment of electricity costs will lead to a slight increase in March’s consumer price index (CPI), Head of the General Statistics Office Nguyen Bich Lam revealed to the Vietnam News Agency.

The April index and those of the following months will reflect the price increases more definitively, Lam said.

According to him, the three consecutive decreases of petrol prices in late 2014 and January 2015 caused an 8.2 percent reduction in transportation service rates in the first two months of the year, which contributed to a fall in the CPI.

However, it is difficult to predict if inflation will be controlled at a low level this year, as inflation depends on a balance between supply and demand, the prices of import products, regional and world political stability and currency exchange rates, he said.

Low CPI serves as an indicator for the Government to adjust the prices of necessities like electricity, school tuition and health services, while working to keep inflation rates below 5 percent this year.

Nevertheless, Lam expressed his concern that rising petrol prices will put pressure on inflation management.

He suggested the Government continue steering the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to monitor market price developments as well as intensify inspections on the market and the execution of legal regulations on oil and petrol businesses.

He also stressed the need for close coordination between relevant ministries and offices to design inflation policies, adding that the timing of price adjustments is integral to avoid impacting the CPI.-VNA