The Ministry of Finance expects 3.9-4.8% inflation this year as against a target of 4.5%.
According to the General Statistics Office, in March the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 3.4-3.5% from the same period last year.
In the first quarter prices are expected to rise by 4.2-4.3% year-on-year, with the prices of construction materials jumping by 7.2% and foodstuffs by 4.5%.
According to the ministry, the pressure will continue in April and the second quarter in the face of the global uncertainty since domestic prices of many essential goods depend heavily on international prices.
At a meeting with the Steering Committee on Price Management chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai on March 24, the ministry put forth three scenarios for inflation this year ranging from 3.9% to 4.8%.
But it favored the one that envisages prices to rise at the current rate of 0.52% a month in the remaining nine months of this year.
Khai said ministries and other agencies should take feasible measures to keep inflation below 4.5%.
The head of the General Statistics Office, Nguyen Thi Huong, called for closer management of prices, especially of electricity, healthcare and education.
Inflation last year was 3.15%, much lower than the average of 7.85% in Southeast Asia, while developed countries recorded double-digit figures.
But analysts warn that this year inflation will jump from developed countries to developing ones.
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