Vietnam's inflation accelerated for the first time in 12 months in September, up 6.48 percent on a year earlier, amid fears of a return to rocketing prices as the country grapples with multiple economic woes.
The consumer prices index (CPI) hit a three-year low of 5.04 percent in August, according to the General Statistics Office figures, after an all-out drive by the communist country to bring last year's double-digit inflation under control.
But cooling growth in the country's once-vibrant economy has seen Vietnam cut interest rates five times in 2012.
"Inflation could become again a macro-economic problem in coming months," economist Vu Dinh Anh told AFP.
He said September's CPI hike represented a record monthly increase of 2.2 percent, after increases in prices for key products including petrol.
Vietnam has struggled with double-digit inflation for years. Inflation peaked at 23 percent in August 2011, forcing the government to repeatedly hike interest rates in an effort to prevent the economy from overheating.
The country's economic growth slowed to 4.38 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2011.
The government is targeting single-digit inflation and a 6.0 to 6.5 percent growth in economic output for 2012. The overall inflation rate for the first nine months of 2012 stood at 9.96 percent year-on-year.