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CPI in October was at 8.6 percent same level of September

For the first time this year, domestic prices eased with October CPI tracking on a same level of September, an announcement from the General Statistics Department said.

However it still reflected a year-on-year rise of 8.6 percent, double the rate previously forecast by the National Assembly for 2004, economists said. They warned this year’s CPI could reach 10 percent.

The GSD said October’s easing CPI was mainly due to recent reductions in food prices. Food prices, after some hikes in the months leading to October, were down by 0.2 percent compared with September, but were still 17.7 percent higher than the same period of 2003. Rice had dropped whereas high-quality export paddy rice edged up on increasing overseas demand climbing U$5-10 per ton month-on-month.

After the government set a target to export 3.8 million tons of rice this year, Vietnamese businesses signed contracts to export more than 120,000 tons of rice between late September and early this month.

Beverages, cigarettes, ticket prices to cultural, sporting and entertainment events stayed unchanged since September

Areas where slight price increase of 0.1-0.5 percent were recorded were housing and construction materials, household utensils and equipment, clothes, shoes and medicines. Of these, pharmaceuticals and health care services remain expensive, with prices up by about 10 percent compared with last year.

Gold rose 1.7 percent month-on-month, the highest since April. Prices of previous metal have climbed 11.7 percent compared the same period last year, accompanying soaring international prices.

In contrast, the US dollar has been lack luster, only going up by 1.3 percent over the past 10 months.

It was a different change in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The capital city marked 0.2 percent inflation growth this month, whereas costs went down by 0.1 percent in the southern hub, the GSD said.

The department forecast it would be difficult to control future CPI rises due to fluctuating international markets for oil, steel, fertilizer and gold. November usually sees an annual spike in domestic rising accordingly.

Vietnam Economic Review - (26/10/2004)

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