Closely monitoring fluctuations to calculate the appropriate time to adjust prices

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Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai chaired the meeting of the Price Management Steering Committee. Photo: VGP
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai chaired the meeting of the Price Management Steering Committee. Photo: VGP

Inflation forecasts are under control

Report at the meeting of the Price Management Steering Committee to review the price management and administration work in the first quarter of 2024 and orient the price management work for the remaining months of 2024 on April 24, the Ministry of Finance said that in the first months of 2024, market prices fluctuated following the annual rules, increasing in the first 2 months of the year due to coinciding with the time approaching Tet and the month of the Lunar New Year 2024, then decreasing in March following the rules after Tet. In April, basic commodity prices did not have major fluctuations. On average, in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year, the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 3.77%, and basic inflation increased by 2.81%.

However, according to the Ministry of Finance, prices of some raw materials, essential consumer goods and services are forecast to increase.

For example, gasoline prices are forecast to fluctuate complicatedly following price movements and world supply and demand. Export rice prices may soon stabilize and increase again in the context of supply from major export markets showing no signs of easing. Prices for shipping services by sea and surcharges for containerized goods at seaports are increasing sharply, putting pressure on businesses’ costs…

The Ministry of Finance also pointed out some other factors that put pressure on the price level such as inflation expectations when implementing wage reform, risks of natural disasters and adverse weather…

Therefore, based on the goals and impact assessment, the Ministry of Finance updated 3 price management scenarios, corresponding to the forecast that the average CPI in 2024 would increase by about 3.64% compared to 2023 (scenario 1); increased by 4.05% (scenario 2) and increased by about 4.5% (scenario 3). The General Statistics Office forecasted the average CPI in the range of 3.8-4.5%. The State Bank forecasted that average inflation in 2024 would increase in the range of 4.3% ± 0.5%.

According to estimates by the Ministry of Finance, if we assumed that CPI in the remaining months increased at the same rate compared to the previous month, then in the remaining 9 months of 2024, CPI each month would have room to increase by about 0.26-0. .39% to ensure the target of controlling average inflation in 2024 in the range of 4-4.5% according to the set target.

In a recent announcement, World Bank (WB) experts stated that inflation is forecast to increase slightly to 3.5% in 2024, mainly due to the prices of state-managed goods such as education and health are expected to increase. However, inflation will fall to 3% in 2025 and 2026 due to expectations that energy and raw material prices will stabilize.

In response to the above forecasts, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong said that the forecasts were basically under control, following the proposed scenario. However, the Deputy Minister expressed concern that regulating the prices of goods priced by the State would affect inflation, especially at the time of applying the new salary policy from July 2024, so it was necessary to avoid price adjustments at this time.

Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi said that ministries and branches need to closely monitor domestic market price fluctuations to advise on appropriate, flexible and timely price management policies and scenarios; at the same time, promote information and communication work to avoid inflation expectations.

Ensuring supply and demand, managing reasonable prices

Directing at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai, Director of Price Management Steering Committee, highly appreciated the price management work of ministries and sectors in the first quarter of 2024. However, in the second quarter and the remaining months of 2024, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the pressure on price management was still great.

To proactively respond to challenges in price management, the Deputy Prime Minister requested ministries and sectors to closely monitor economic developments at home and abroad, make detailed and specific forecasts of impact factors to the general price level, especially essential goods and services to proactively build detailed scenarios for each industry and field, ensuring closeness to reality, thereby advising, proposing and implementing appropriate and effective price management solutions.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said that the pressure on price management was still great.
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said that the pressure on price management was still great.

Regarding price adjustment of essential goods and services, the Deputy Prime Minister requested ministries and sectors to calculate the appropriate time for the implementation of the new wage policy, ensuring inflation control following the set target.

Based on the price management scenario, ministries and localities should base on their assigned functions and tasks to direct the preparation of adequate supplies of essential goods, especially essential goods with high weight in the CPI.

Regarding gold prices, especially gold bars, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai requested the State Bank to seriously implement the instructions of the Government and the Prime Minister on gold product management. In the immediate future, it must ensure supply and demand, reasonable prices, and at the same time, research and propose long-term solutions for managing gold products, both ensuring state management requirements and meeting the legitimate needs of people.

In addition, the Head of the Price Management Steering Committee suggested that agencies continue to promote information and communication work, ensuring timely, public, transparent, honest, price information and regulatory work. Ministries and sectors needed to focus on building and perfecting mechanisms and policies related to price laws; continue to research, advise and propose solutions related to taxes and fees to support people and businesses; operate reasonable monetary policy…

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