|According to the HCM City Statistics Office, the city's CPI rose 0.4 per cent this month, against December 2013 but is still the lowest CPI for January in the past five years.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — January's consumer price index (CPI) for Ha Noi and HCM City surged slightly due to price increases in the run up to the Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival.
According to the HCM City Statistics Office, the city's CPI rose 0.4 per cent this month, against December 2013 but is still the lowest CPI for January in the past five years.
The low rise in rate has also been connected to a sharp decline in purchasing power in January compared with the same month in previous years, said the office.
According to a representative of Big C Supermarket, quoted by VnEconomy newspaper, there have been only modest increases in sales of garments and household items, while sales of rice and other food commodities have remained stagnant.
The approaching Tet holiday means more people are rushing to buy goods and food items, thus driving up prices.
The HCM City Statistics Office said 10 of the 11 items that were typically used to calculate the CPI each month had seen price hikes. Food and catering services, fuel, and housing and building materials, as well as garments and footwear, among other things, saw a price hike between 0.5 and 1.24 per cent. Beverage and tobacco products saw a price hike of 1.29 per cent, and transport services, 1.19 per cent.
Food prices rose only a modest of 0.16 per cent compared with the same period over the last 10 years because of stabilisation measures controlling the supply of rice for the domestic market and the price of food and catering services in HCM City.
However, the price of health care services dropped 0.12 per cent against the previous month. The prices of gold and the US dollar also went down 1.37 per cent and 0.04 per cent respectively.
In Ha Noi, the city's Statistics Office said yesterday that the CPI had increased 0.7 per cent this month, against December 2013, and 6.78 per cent over the same period last year.
The prices of postal and telecom services remained unchanged. Statistics Office noted that prices have been surging, but the surge in prices has not been sudden since there are adequate supply and stabilisation programmes in place.
The price of gas had declined VND43,200 (US$2.2) per 12-kilo gas tank to reach VND460,000-470,000 on January 1.
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance had asked 19 provinces and cities with a higher CPI in 2013 than the national CPI of 6.04 per cent to control the prices of goods and services as the Tet holiday draws closer.
These locations include Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc, Tuyen Quang, as well as Nam Dinh, Da Nang, Dac Lac and Khanh Hoa. — VNS