The Price Management Department under the Ministry of Finance has forecast that there still are risks for Vietnam’s inflation to be high in 2014 due to the impact of policies to remove difficulties for business and production in 2013.

During a December 30 conference on the development of Vietnam’s prices and market in 2013 and prospects for 2014, the department also pointed to natural disasters, floods and animal and plant diseases in 2013 as another reason for the forecast.

According to Dr. Vu Dinh Anh, in 2014, the price development will be affected by the traditional management policies as well as slow growth of demand.

On the other hand, prices and market will also be impacted by loosening policies such as the widening of budget deficit to 5.3 percent of GDP and the issuance of bonds worth 170 trillion VND (8 billion USD) for the 2011-2015 period, he said.

In addition, efforts to ease difficulties for enterprises, support the market and speed up growth may force the currency flow to move faster and intensify the inflation pressure.

Sharing Anh’s opinion, economist Ngo Tri Long held that major challenges still face the national economy in 2014 as the global economy is forecast to remain gloomy.

Although the consumer price index has been brought under control, the risk of price hikes still looms, he said.

According to the General Statistics Office, the December CPI increases by 0.51 percent month-on-month and 6.04 percent year-on-year. The 2013 average CPI increase is at 6.6 percent over that of 2012, marking the lowest rise in the recent 10 years, it said.

Meanwhile, Pham Minh Thuy from the Economic-Financial Institute under the Ministry of Finance, said the price developments in 2013 prove the efficiency and proactiveness of the Government’s interference in the market.

He also emphasised that the stable prices in 2013 can be a good chance for the Government to adjust those of a number of products in the market mechanism and reach the set target of controlling the inflation at the same time.

However, he added, the adjustment should be carefully considered to avoid market shock and adverse impact on the daily life.-VNA