A woman selects fruit at a supermarket (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – It will be difficult to control the inflation rate this year at under 5 percent, many experts said, pointing to the relatively high consumer price index (CPI) during the first half of 2016.

CPI in June expanded by 2.35 percent from last December, and the average six-month figure rose by 1.72 percent from a year earlier.

The growth was fuelled by the scheduled increases of medical and educational services prices and minimum wage, the slight recovery of global commodity prices since February and decelerated agriculture due to unfavourable weather conditions, Le Quoc Phuong, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Industry and Trade Information Centre, said at a seminar in Hanoi on July 7.

Global commodity prices tend to increase until the year’s end. The continued price hike of medical and educational services and a possible credit growth rate of over 20 percent in 2016 are likely to boost the year’s CPI to 5 – 5.5 percent, he forecast.

Phuong also predicted that Vietnam might fail to achieve many other economic targets such as GDP with a targeted growth rate set at 6.7 percent and exports with an expected revenue rise of 10 percent.

Economist Ngo Tri Long said with prudent control, the inflation rate in 2016 will be posted at around 4.2 percent. However, it could exceed the 5 percent target due to such factors as higher medical and educational services fees and natural disasters.

Nguyen Duc Do, Deputy Director of the Institute of Economics and Finance, said price changes in the remaining months depends on how the State adjusts medical services fees, as other factors such as oil and food prices are unlikely to surge.

In a longer period, inflation will slow down as overall economic growth may fall short of expectations, and this will be the biggest factor in curbing CPI expansion, he added.-VNA