Vietnam's inflation remains low despite rare post-holiday rise

Thanh Nien News

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A gas station in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh A gas station in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh


After flatlining in January, Vietnam's inflation has slowly picked up following price increases in education and health care services, according to new figures released by the government on Thursday.
Vietnam's consumer price index grew 0.57 percent month-on-month in March, compared to 0.42 percent recorded in February, the General Statistics of Office reported.
Compared to the end of the last year, consumer prices increased 0.99 percent, it said.
Vietnam's inflation usually surged in January and February ahead of the Tet Lunar New Year before cooling down in March. But that was not the case this year. 
The statistics office's latest report showed that while nine of 11 baskets of goods and services saw declines, health care posted an increase of 24.34 percent.
Fees at Vietnam's public hospital were set to increase by 30 percent on average this month and then in July as the government seeks to reduce subsidies.
Education was the only other CPI basket that saw a rise of 0.66 percent, as tuition at public universities was slated to increase 10 percent from VND5.5-8 million (US$242-353) a year, starting from this month.
Transport costs dropped sharply by 3.64 percent, following four consecutive cuts of gasoline retail prices since the beginning of this year.
Vietnam's inflation was at a record low of 0.63 percent last year, but is expected to rise to 5 percent this year.

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