Experts: Vietnam likely to curb inflation below 4 pct in 2019

Vietnam is deemed highly likely to curb its inflation below 4% in 2019, experts said at a seminar in Hanoi on January 3, which focused on national market and price movements during 2018 and forecasts for 2019. 

The event aimed to look into aspects related to the 2018 market, thereby proposing measures to control inflation, as well as step up economic restructuring and growth for 2019 and the years following. 

Deputy Director of the Academy of Finance (AOF) Pham Van Lien said that monetary, credit, fiscal, foreign exchange, market and price management measures proposed at the event should not only be adopted this year but also put the economy on sustainable growth path in the long-term. 

Director of the AOF’s Institute of Economics-Finance (IEF) Nguyen Ba Minh said that despite several advantages in 2018, the Vietnamese economy faced difficulties such as high import tariffs in the US and a low disbursement of public investment. 

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam’s gross domestic product grew by 7.08% in 2018, a record for the 2011-2018 period. The agro-forestry-fisheries sector expanded by 3.76%, contributing 8.7% of the economic growth; while industry-construction rose by 8.85%, contributing 48.6%; and services went up 7.03%, or 42.7% towards the growth. 

Notably, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector posted the highest growth during the 2012-2018 period. Manufacturing and processing remained a key driving force of the economy with a growth of 12.98%. 

The consumer price index rose by 3.45% in 2018, lower than the target of nearly 4% set by the National Assembly. 

Nguyen Duc Do from the IEF said that thanks to falling petrol prices, inflation stood at 2.98% in December 2018, lower than the 3.89% in 2017 and 3.98% in October 2018. 

He added that inflation in early 2019 is likely to be below 3 percent after the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade decided to adjust down petrol prices by VND500 per litre. 

Do also pointed out other factors in curbing inflation this year, such as stable pork prices, low pressure on foreign exchange rates, and waning tension between the US and China.

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