|Customers choose fruit in the BigC Thăng Long supermarket in Hà Nội. The CPI in February edged up 0.73 per cent month-on-month. - VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The consumer price index (CPI) in February edged up 0.73 per cent month-on-month and 3.15 per cent year-on-year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported yesterday.
This was the highest month-on-month growth rate of CPI in February in the past five years, said Đỗ Thị Ngọc, deputy head of GSO’s CPI Department.
CPI rose by 1.24 per cent from December 2017, pushing the index up by 2.9 per cent in the first two months this year.
The increase was mainly driven by high demand for commodities and services before and during the Lunar New Year (Tết) festival, the country’s main holiday season, GSO said. Among 11 goods and services categories, nine saw price rise, including food and catering services (1.53 per cent), transportation (0.79 per cent), beverages and cigarettes (0.75 per cent), other goods and services (0.74 per cent) and culture, entertainment and tourism (0.72 per cent). The categories where prices went down were building material (0.09 per cent) and post and telecom services (0.07 per cent). Ngọc said the hike was due to strong demand for food, beverages, cigarettes and electricity during Tết as well as massive rice purchase for exports to Indonesia and the Philippines. Public transportation costs also went up 3.34 per cent due to a surge in travelling.
Meanwhile, some categories witnessed a marginal increase in prices, such as the group comprising textile and garments, hat, leather and footwear (0.2 per cent), medicines and health services (0.07 per cent) and education (0.07 per cent). Other factors reined in CPI growth, such as falling gas and vegetable prices, with respective decreases of 5.14 per cent and 1.72 per cent. The price of gold rose 1.83 per cent month-on-month, while the US dollar remained stable.
According to GSO, core inflation in February (CPI exclusive of fresh food, energy and State-run health and education services) moved up 0.49 per cent month-on-month and 1.47 per cent year-on-year. The index for the first two months this year rose by 1.32 per cent. – VNS