CPI up slightly in February

09:00 | 01/03/2017 Society

The national consumer price index (CPI) in February went up slightly by 0.23% compared to the previous month and 5.02% compared to the same period last year, announced the General Statistics Office (GSO) on February 28.

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The CPI rise was attributed to advances in eight out of eleven groups of commodities and services, including housing and construction materials (up 0.77%); transport (up 0.56%); medicine and health services (up 0.22%); entertainment and tourism (up 0.15%); other goods and services (up 0.14%); restaurants and food services (up 0.11%); and household appliances and equipment (up 0.05%).

Meanwhile, the group of post and telecommunications decreased by 0.07% and hats and footwear and beverages and cigarettes went down by 0.05% and 0.01%, respectively.

Deputy Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc said the rise in February’s CPI was due to high demand for certain commodities for traditional rituals in the first lunar month and spring festivals, such as flowers, food and restaurant services.

Growing demand for travel and higher fuel prices contributed to the increase in transport service costs, she noted.

However, there were some elements keeping CPI down, like the reduction of the pork price due to low demand and limited exports to China, the abundant supply of fresh vegetables and weak demand for clothes after the festive season.

According to the GSO, February’s core inflation (excluding food and fresh foodstuffs, energy products and State-controlled commodities such as healthcare and education services) increased by a marginal 0.2% from the previous month and 1.51% against the same period last year.

The GSO forecasted that CPI in March would be higher than February due to surges in global prices of fuel and possible adjustments in healthcare services in ten cities and provinces in line with the roadmap specified in Circular 37.

Meanwhile, the CPI in Ho Chi Minh City increased by 0.5% on a monthly basis in February, the municipal Statistics Office said the same day.

The February CPI has grown 5.79% compared to the same period last year.

Among the eleven categories in the commodity basket, nine saw price increases from January. The biggest increase (0.97%) was seen in the group of cultural, entertainment and tourism products, followed by transport with a 0.61% rise. The price index of the group of housing, electricity, water, fuel and construction materials went up by 0.57%.

Meanwhile, post and telecom prices were down by 0.16%, and education goods stayed stable throughout the month.

Theo NDO