Consumer prices set to end year just below growth limit

09:56 | 08/01/2019 Society

(VEN) - Unpredictable changes in petrol prices and high pork prices were expected to affect the consumer price index (CPI) in the last months of the year. However, the government’s flexible management, changes in foreign markets and relative stability of petrol and pork prices have helped ease the pressure on the CPI.

consumer prices set to end year just below growth limit

November CPI drops

At a recent regular meeting of the domestic market management team, Ta Thi Thu Viet, Deputy Head of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam’s (GSO) Price Statistics Department, said the November CPI dropped 0.29 percent compared to October’s, and CPI in the first 11 months of 2018 increased 3.59 percent over the same period last year. The figures are particularly noteworthy since just one month ago, consideration was given to imposing price control measures to keep the CPI from exceeding the annual four percent target set by the National Assembly.

However, in November in both New York and London, crude oil prices fell to below US$60 a barrel, the lowest price of the past year, down more than 30 percent compared to its peak in October. This helped decrease the domestic petrol price and reduce the CPI by 0.17 percent in November.

A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development said that after a period of high growth, the pork price dropped to below VND50,000 per kilo in November due to increased supply.

Gas prices in foreign markets, and fresh vegetable prices and electricity consumption in Vietnam, also dropped in November.

First quarter of 2019

Viet said the supply of goods remains plentiful in December, ensuring price stability, and there are no indications of oil price increases in foreign markets. The hike in the price of health services in December due to increases in the minimum wage is the only factor that could affect the CPI in the last month of the year, Viet said.

Nguyen Loc An, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department said although petroleum prices in foreign markets do not show signs of increasing again, domestic prices will increase VND1,000 per liter in early 2019 due to the environmental tax. In addition, electricity price hikes are being considered for early 2019, he said. Prices are also expected to increase ahead of and during the Lunar New Year Holiday (Tet) in early February, causing pressure on CPI control in the first quarter of 2019, An said.

According to the GSO, under the impact of environmental taxes on petroleum products, increased electricity prices, and increased goods prices during Tet time, the CPI in the first quarter of 2019 is expected to increase 3.6-3.85 percent over the same time in 2018, 0.15-0.4 lower than the four percent target set by the National Assembly.

Bao Ngoc