Vietnam February prices under control but threat of inflation looms: ministry

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Consumer prices will have risen 1.3-1.4 percent in February by the end of the month, the lowest year-on-year rise since 2010, the Ministry of Investment and Planning forecast on February 19.

According to a Saigon Times report, the ministry said food prices climbed the most out of the 15 representative items taken into account.

Prices often rise most in January and February due to the lunar new year holiday, which peaked on February 10 this year.

The ministry attributed the slow growth of prices to balanced supply and demand and better price management by authorities.

However, the ministry said the threat of high inflation is returning after prices stabilized last year. Prices rose 6.8 percent in 2012, a huge improvement over the days of double-digit inflation a year earlier.

Analysts from the Vietnam Center for Economic and Policy Research predicted last month that prices would rise 10 percent this year. The government hopes to keep the number below 6.

They said the 5 percent hike in power prices late last year and a proposed 10 percent decrease in minimum wages this July would boost prices.

The government will announce February consumer prices on Sunday (February 24).

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