Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) was at 10-year low in July, gaining only 0.68 percent from the end of 2014, the General Statistics Office (GSO) revealed on July 24.

This month’s CPI increased by 0.13 percent month-on-month and 0.9 percent year-on-year. The average figure for the first seven months was 0.86 percent annually.

Deputy Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Bich Ngoc said the monthly CPI rise in July was the lowest in a decade.

She said the July CPI gain was fuelled mostly by high school entrance and graduation examinations along with the hot weather, which fanned the expenses of daily electricity use up by 1.32 percent and water by 0.22 percent.

Meanwhile, the augmentation of medical service prices in some districts of Ho Chi Minh City since July 1 contributed to a monthly 0.15 percent hike in medical service expenses nationwide.

Nine of the 11 key goods and service categories had their prices spike in July. The biggest pace – 0.25 percent – was recorded in the prices of apparel, hats and footwear. Consumer demand for these commodities traditionally grows in July and August in preparation for the new school year that begins in late August and early September, the GSO explained.

The slowest rise – 0.1 percent – was in food and restaurant services, housing and building material category was 0.22 percent, beverage and tobacco at 0.18 percent, household equipment and utensils at 0.14 percent and transport at 0.16 percent.

Education prices remained nearly unchanged while those of the postal and telecommunications services declined 0.02 percent.

The GSO also pointed out factors that helped curb inflation momentum in July such as the relatively stable prices of staple goods in the world, abundant domestic food supply and the reduction of fuel gas and kerosene prices.

July’s core inflation – the CPI excluding fresh food, energy and State-controlled commodities like medical and educational services – hiked up 0.13 percent from last month and 2.04 percent from a year before.

Ngoc forecast a slight growth in the August CPI due to an increased demand for foods in preparation for traditional festivals in the seventh and eighth lunar months.

Prolonged hot weather will beef up the consumption of electricity and water while tuition fees at some colleges and universities are also expected to rise. Prices of several imported goods are likely to climb as the USD could appreciate against other currencies, thus contributing to the August CPI gain, she added.-VNA