|Consumers shop for the Tết holiday. Consumer prices increased slightly in January as demand rose. - File Photo|
HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese consumer prices rose slightly in January on increased shopping demand as the Tết (Lunar New Year) holidays were approaching.
Latest updates from the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.1 per cent in January over the previous month and 2.456 per cent over the same month last year.
Đỗ Thị Ngọc, Director of the Price Statistics Department, said that January was the month before the Tết holiday, thus consumption demand increased considerably over other months. However, CPI saw a slight increase thanks to the abundance of goods prepared ahead of Tết.
Ngọc said that January saw increases in consumption demand for food, foodstuffs, beverages and garments.
In the CPI’s basket of goods and services, nine categories saw increases in prices in January, including beverage products (up by 0.69 per cent), restaurant and catering services (up by 0.66 per cent), garment, headwear and footwear (up by 0.39 per cent), housing and building materials (up by 0.35 per cent) and tourism services (up by 0.33 per cent).
Two categories saw declines, including transportation services with a drop of 3.04 per cent and telecommunications services by 0.09 per cent.
According to the GSO, the decrease in fuel prices by 6.98 per cent on average in January over December 2018 contributed to pushing down overall CPI by 0.29 per cent. Petrol RON A95 decreased by VNĐ540 per litre, biofuel E5 by VNĐ510 and diesel oil by VNĐ1,100 as the Government asked for the use of the petrol price stabilisation fund to make up for the increase in environment protection tax on fuel.
In January, core inflation (excluding food, fresh foodstuffs, energy, healthcare and education services) rose by 1.83 per cent over the same month last year.
The GSO said that the core inflation posted a higher increase than general inflation, demonstrating the increase in monetary demand in the month approaching Tết, adding that the monetary market remained stable.
According to the GSO, the total retail sales of goods and services in January increased significantly as firms, shopping centres, super markets and retail stores actively prepared goods for Tết.
Statistics showed that retail sales of goods and services totalled more than VNĐ402 trillion (US$17.3 billion) in January, representing a rise of 4.4 per cent over December 2018 and 12.2 per cent over the same month last year. If inflation was excluded, the increase was 7.7 per cent over the same month last year.
Gold prices rose by 2.25 per cent over the previous month to VNĐ3.641 million per tael for SJC gold in the context of falling stock markets and worries over the global economic slowdown. — VNS