|Consumers shop at the BigC Supermarket in Ha Noi. The country's consumer price index rose by 0.15 per cent in March. — VNS Photo Thai Ha
HA NOI (VNS) — The consumer price index (CPI) in March increased by 0.15 per cent against last month, after four consecutive months of reduction, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported yesterday.
The March CPI also surged 0.93 per cent, compared with the same period last year, but slipped 0.1 per cent against December 2014, the office said.
Do Thi Ngoc, the deputy head of GSO's CPI Department, said the surge in CPI in March was mainly due to an increase in petrol and gas prices on March 11.
The higher fuel prices had pushed prices of three out of 11 goods that are used to calculate the monthly CPI increase, including restaurant and catering services (up 0.36 per cent), cultural, entertainment and tourism activities (up 0.18 per cent) and housing and building materials (up 0.16 per cent).
Additionally, the jump in gas prices since March 1 had also contributed to the surge in CPI, she said, while high demand for catering, cultural and entertainment services during festivals after Tet also partly supported the rise in CPI.
Lowest surge rate for CPI
At the same time, the CPI Department pointed out that during the first quarter of this year, the index had seen an increase of 0.74 per cent against the same period last year.
The surge was the lowest for a first quarter during the last decade, during which time the CPI had increased between 4.83 per cent and 16.57 per cent.
The sizeable reduction in petrol and gas prices during the first quarter of this year had limited the surge of CPI. Petrol and gas prices reductions had pressured the prices of transport services, which dropped 8.48 per cent in the first quarter.
One of reasons for a low growth rate in CPI during the first quarter was that the people had not kept goods in stock during Tet because markets started operating normally from the third day of the Lunar New Year, the department said. The market did not have to bear the pressure of a shortage of goods during the month of Tet.
Demand for essential goods was also not high because they saw a reduction in income and had to tighten spending, GSO said. — VNS