CPI falls in October after months of increases

The country’s consumer price index (CPI) in October dropped 0.19 percent against last month, the first decrease since the beginning of the year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Falls were seen in three out of ten commodity groups in the price basket with housing and construction materials experiencing the largest drop of 1.08 percent, followed by transport and telecommunication services, 0.94 percent and food and restaurant services, 0.42 percent.

The downturn trend was attributed to the government’s efforts to rein in inflation and ensure a stable macro economy, leading to the decreases in prices of essential goods, such as petrol, food and foodstuff. Decreasing prices on the world market due to the financial crisis is another factor.

Consumption of many goods items have been slowed down, especially food and foodstuff, which accounts for 40 percent of the commodity groups in the price basket, despite abundant supply, said Tran Thi Hang, Head of GSO’s Trade-Service and Price Statistics Department.

Ho Chi Minh City’s CPI fell 0.24 percent, the first decrease over the past 18 months. Meanwhile, Hano ’s figure experienced the slightest increase of 0.16 percent over the previous month since the beginning of the year.

It’s likely that the year’s CPI will be kept below 25 percent because no sudden change in prices is expected from now to the end of the year, the Finance Ministry’s Domestic Market Management Group forecast.

However, the current CPI increased 26.72 percent compared to last October and 21.64 percent over December 2007.

The Government has affirmed containing inflation its top priority at the on-going National Assembly plenary session, aiming to reduce the inflation rate to below 15 percent in 2009 and to a single-digit figure by 2010.

Source: VNA

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