return icon

Inflation statistics and confidence levels

As a reporter in charge of macroeconomic news, I always seek to read statistics because figures are not biased and allow me to have an overall view of things. But, honestly speaking, not all statistics give me a sense of confidence.

Vietnam’s inflation rate is lowest in the world

While many other countries only use consumer price index (CPI) to measure inflation, the data about inflation rate and CPI of Vietnam are quite diverse and complicated, which makes it difficult for people, including scholars and experts, to understand.

For example, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported that the CPI in June increased by 0.69 percent over the previous month, 3.18 percent compared with December 2021, and 3.37 percent over the same period last year. 

In H1, the CPI increased by 2.44 percent compared with the same period last year and the core inflation rate was 1.25 percent.

A report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) was more detailed. It said the CPI in the first six months of the year increased by 2.44 percent in comparison with the same period last year; the core inflation in June increased by 0.44 percent over the previous month and 1.98 percent over the same period last year. 

In H1, the core inflation increased by 1.25 percent compared with the same period last year and lower than the overall average CPI (2.44 percent).

The core inflation is the CPI after deducting the prices of fresh food and foodstuff, power, and goods under the state’s management, including healthcare and education services.

As such, the figures about inflation and CPI are diverse as they are compared with different moments. However, there is a commonality: they all show that Vietnam’s inflation rate is lower than that in the world.

Many countries are experiencing 4-decade high inflation. The UK reported an inflation rate of 9 percent in May, the US 8.6 percent, Germany 7.9 percent, France 5.2 percent, Italy 6.9 percent and Spain 8.7 percent. The inflation rates were 9.6 percent for OECD countries, 8.8 percent for G20 and 8.8 percent for the EU.

Their inflation stems from many causes, including a crude oil price hike, the side effects of economic stimulus packages and the disruption of production chains and a food and foodstuff shortage.

The problem is that while other countries report high inflation rates, Vietnam, an economy with high openness as a member of 14 next-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), still has low inflation.

Does self-sufficiency make inflation low?

According to GSO, the monthly CPI is calculated by the agency based on information collected from 40,000 survey points and the prices of 752 common goods and services in 63 cities/provinces.

This number of samples is very large and GDP needs a large workforce for sampling and if someone makes a mistake, the results will be wrong.

Some local statistical leaders have told me that sampling is very difficult work and in many cases, it doesn’t bring effects. However, reports still need to be sent.

An official of GSO, when giving an interview to Giao Thong newspaper, related a story about prices in Hanoi and HCM City increasing sharply, but prices in Ha Giang remaining unchanged. When asked about the difference, an official of Ha Giang answered that this is a mountainous area, where people are self-sufficient. They can grow rice, vegetables and raise pigs and fowl. If the prices at market increase, no one will buy products.

Meanwhile, statistical officers bear pressure from local authorities which always want high growth rates in their localities. Some localities reported very high growth rates in H1, such as Bac Giang (24 percent), Bac Ninh (14.7 percent), Thanh Hoa (13.4 percent), Quang Nam (12.8 percent), Khanh Hoa (12.9 percent), Hai Duong (11.8 percent), Hai Phong (11.1 percent), Quang Ninh (10.7 percent) and Vinh Phuc (10.1 percent).

Retelling the story, I do not mean that the statistics about CPI, inflation and GDP are fabricated or embellished. Instead, there’s a question about whether incorrect input materials produce the wrong output statistics.


In the first half of the year, the CPI only increased by 2.44 percent while core inflation increased by 1.25 percent over the same period last year. The figure was extremely abnormal compared with the core inflation with Vietnam dong interest rates.

The deposit interest rates at some commercial banks have soared to 7-7.3 percent, while lending interest rates rose to 10-12 percent.

Such high interest rates are a contrast to the reported low inflation rate. In general, deposit interest rates need to be higher than the inflation rate by at least three percentage points to be able to attract depositors.

Tu Giang - Lan Anh


BSR to expand Dung Quat Oil Refinery

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JSC (BSR) to clarify some issues related to its project on expanding Dung Quat Oil Refinery.

Dutch conductor to lead concert at Opera House

Conductor Leon Bosch from the Netherlands will lead a concert featuring masterpieces by European composers at the HCM City Opera House on Saturday, October 8.

‘578’ to represent Vietnam at Oscars

An action film starring Miss Universe Vietnam 2018, H'hen Niê, 578: Phát Đạn Của Kẻ Điên (578: Magnum), has been selected as Vietnamese representative at the 95th Oscars, 2023.

USD surges to VND24,000, US$1.7 billion withdrawn from circulation

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) withdrew nearly VND41 trillion ($1.7 billion) through open market operations as the US dollar rose to over VND24,000 on September 26-30, 2022.

HCM City to build a series of new traffic projects

HCM City is speeding up procedures to start the construction of key traffic works at gateways by the end of the year, according to HCM City's Department of Transport.

Burning garbage in Hanoi threatens residents' health, property

There have been consecutive fires caused by people's poor awareness, who were burning garbage and straw in residential areas, causing fires recently in Hanoi.

New cargo airline still waiting for license

After the Prime Minister agrees on the establishment of IPP Air Cargo, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) will implement procedures to grant a license to the air carrier, according to MOT Deputy Minister Le Dinh Tho.

Master plan for Mekong Delta focuses on infrastructure development

The Master Plan for the Mekong Delta designed for 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, is focused on infrastructure development.

Current monetary policy quite suitable

Many people are concerned whether the country will face a tighter monetary policy and higher exchange and interest rates in the near future.

Danang, a wedding destination for India’s billionaires

Could Danang be the wedding destination of choice for Indian billionaires? It certainly has the right hotels and quality wedding infrastructure for the purpose, an Indian tourism company representative said.

Big shortage of human resources for artificial intelligence

Vietnam is facing a big shortage of human resources for artificial intelligence.

VN to improve science and technology market to reduce reliance on imports

Vietnam plans to focus on improving the science and technology market with the establishment of three trading platforms in order to reduce reliance on imports, Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat has said.

Vietnam may not reach goal of 5 million int’l visitors in 2022

Vietnam’s tourism industry aims to serve 60 million domestic tourists in 2022. By the end of July, the figure was already over 71 million visitors.

Vietnam sets course for zero carbon shipping by 2030

The Ministry of Transport has recently issued a plan with supportive measures for vessel owners to develop container ships with zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Profits from advertising flow into pockets of foreign OTT companies

Cross-border OTT television services are competing unfairly with Vietnamese firms, analysts say.