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Vietnam’s consumer CPI cools down in Octoberprice index (CPI) tumbled in October, rising just 0.85 percent compared to 2.2 percent in September, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The October figure represents an increase of 7 percent against the same period in 2011, but is the highest growth rate for a single month since 1995.

According to a GSO report released on October 24, this month’s CPI result brought the total figure for the first ten months of 2012 to 6.02 percent.

Price surges  ranging between 0.17-5.94 percent  seen in 10 out of the 11 commodity groups contributed to the October price calculation. The highest growth was in the cost of healthcare services, beverages and tobacco. Conversely,  postal and telecommunications services experienced a small decline of 0.02 percent.

Nguyen Duc Thang, Director of the GSO CPI Department, attributed the increase to the rising costs of essential goods and services, including education and health care, which makes up 10 percent of the country’s total CPI increase.

Economists said that to keep Vietnam’s inflation at a single digit, State management agencies should enhance their forecast capacity to effectively adjust market prices.

They voiced concern about the rise in prices of food and beverages, which account for nearly 40 percent of the contributing commodity groups, especially in the current context when epidemics are breaking out and major year-end festivals are approaching, putting considerable pressure on food supply.

Economists stressed the need to tighten fiscal policies and help local businesses ease difficulties. It is also necessary to conduct market surveys to ensure an adequate supply of commodities and avoid price hikes at year-end, they added.

(VOV)

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