Vietnam sees first price decline in decade

By Ha Nguyen-N.T.Tam, Thanh Nien News

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A woman pays for meat with Vietnamese dong banknotes at the Cho Hom market in Hanoi. Photo: Bloomberg A woman pays for meat with Vietnamese dong banknotes at the Cho Hom market in Hanoi. Photo: Bloomberg

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With the prices of all major goods and services either decreasing or increasing only marginally, the consumer price index declined by 0.21 percent month-on-month in September, the first drop in a decade.
Of the 11 goods and services in the CPI basket, transportation saw the sharpest decline, of 3.17 percent, due to two cuts in fuel prices on August 19 and September 3, the General Statistics Office of Vietnam reported on Thursday.
The prices of food and dining services, housing and construction materials, and postal and telecom services also decreased.
With the school year starting this month, education costs increased by 1.24 percent, the sharpest rise of any item.
Garment and medicine prices edged up 0.21 percent and 0.43 percent.
Speaking to news website Bao Dau Tu, Do Thi Ngoc, deputy chief of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam’s price statistics department, said though fuel prices were hiked on September 18, it would not affect prices next month since the hike was small compared to the recent cuts.
Ngoc forecast full-year inflation to be much lower than the targeted 5 percent since fuel prices remain lower than in previous months and public school fees have yet to be adjusted this year.
Moreover, power monopoly Electricity of Vietnam recently promised there would be no hikes this year, while the supply of consumer goods, especially food, is abundant now, she added.

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