|Traders at Phùng Khoan traditional market in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s consumer price index (CPI) in February was up 1.52 per cent over the previous month and 0.7 per cent year on year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
This is the highest February CPI growth recorded in the last eight years.
However, the index in the first two months decreased 0.14 per cent year-on-year.
Compared to the previous month, an upturn was seen in the prices of ten out of 11 main groups of goods and services, with housing and construction materials taking the lead (4 per cent). It was followed by food and catering services (1.61 per cent); transport (1.55 per cent); drinking and tobacco (0.9 per cent); garment and textile, headwear and footwear (0.25 per cent).
The price of education services remained stable compared to the previous month.
The GSO’s Price Statistics Department explained that the CPI in February saw a strong rise due to the higher demand for food and foodstuffs for the Lunar New Year (Tết) festival.
The prices of medicine and medical supplies in January-February increased by 0.88 per cent compared to the same period last year, the price of gas in the month climbed 3.05 per cent year-on-year.
There were a number of reasons for the decrease in CPI in the last two months. The petrol and oil prices decreased by 15.78 per cent year-on-year while the electricity price in January fell by 16.88 per cent over the same period last year, making the average electricity price in the first two months of 2021 drop 9.95 per cent.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for travel and tourism decreased compared to the same period last year. On average, in the last two months, the air ticket price dropped by 35.65 per cent, train fares fell 12.39 per cent; and tour prices decreased by 4.99 per cent.
At the same time, domestic gold price in February was up 0.25 per cent over the previous month, while that of the US dollar was around VNĐ23,145 per USD, down 0.17 per cent month-on-month and 0.76 per cent year-on-year.
GSO said the core inflation in February, which is CPI excluding grain food, fresh foodstuff, energy and State-managed medical and educational services, increased by 0.48 per cent from the previous month, and 0.79 per cent compared to one year ago.
The two-month core inflation grew by 0.64 per cent year-on-year.
The core inflation rates in February and the first two months of 2021 compared to the same periods last year were the lowest in the past five years.
HCM City’s CPI inches up 1.19 percent in February
The CPI in the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City increased 1.19 per cent in February from the previous month, according to the city’s Statistics Office.
Among 11 groups of products and services in the CPI basket, the group of housing, electricity, water and construction materials had the highest price increase of 2.06 per cent. This included a 13 per cent hike in power price, 2.65 per cent rise in water price, and 0.14 per cent fall in housing rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prices of restaurant and catering services showed a big jump of 1.35 per cent, with those of foodstuff growing 1.79 per cent from January. The strongest surges in this group were seen in the prices of pork (5.28 per cent), beef (2.36 per cent), poultry (3.99 per cent) and aquatic products (3.12 per cent) due to high demand during the Tết holiday – the biggest traditional festival of Vietnamese people.
Moving in the same trend were groups of beverage and tobacco (0.41 per cent), and garment, hats and footwear (0.35 per cent).
Affected by the petrol price hikes on January 26 and February 25, transportation fees increased by 1.68 per cent.
In contrast, the prices of medicine and medical services dropped by 0.05 per cent, and those of the education group decreased by 0.01 per cent. — VNS