* Monthly CPI highest since Sept 2012
* Prices expected to further rise in Feb
* 2013 inflation may hit 8-10 pct -ANZ
(Adds ANZ forecasts in paragraphs 9-10)
HANOI, Jan 24 Vietnam's annual inflation in
January quickened to 7.07 percent, while prices increased 1.25
percent from December, the sharpest monthly gain in four months,
consumer price index (CPI) data released on Thursday showed.
Prices are expected in February to further rise in the wake
of Tet, the country's largest festival to mark the Lunar New
Year, pushing inflation for the full year to as much as 10
percent, analysts said.
The January data, released by the General Statistics Office,
showed inflation accelerating from December, when annual
inflation was 6.81 percent and the month-on-month rate was up
"Prices have been rising because of Tet, but the 1.25
percent increase (in prices in January from December) is rather
high, in comparison to the same period in recent years,"
economist Vu Dinh Anh at the Price and Market Research Institute
Consumer demand tends to soar around Tet, which will fall in
early February. But state media have quoted businesses as saying
they expected Tet demand to fall by up to a third this year from
Data showed medicine, healthcare, transport prices led the
rise in the January index.
"Prices may further increase next month, and this will
require the government to be cautious about containing inflation
this year," Anh said.
January's CPI reflects price changes between Dec. 15 and
Jan. 15, during which the statistics office takes in all
Vietnam may face some upside risks to inflation towards the
middle of the year, but the risks will be manageable, ANZ bank
said in a report.
"We expect Vietnam's inflation in 2013 to come in between 8
percent and 10 percent," the report said.
The government wants to keep inflation between 6.0-6.5
percent, lower than its target of below 8 percent for 2013, but
it has also flagged the risk of prices accelerating.
Vietnam's annual inflation peaked at 23.02 percent in August
2011, slowing since as the government tightened monetary and
fiscal policies. The economy has also slowed, however, due to
shrinking consumer demand and corporate bankruptcies.
(Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)