14:59 | 13/04/2015 Economy- Society
(VEN) - Following continuous falls in the previous four months, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.15 percent in March, up 0.93 percent compared with the same period last year. The Domestic Market Management Team did not attribute this CPI growth to petroleum and electricity price rises in mid-March.
In March, the CPI of six out of 11 groups of goods increased. Notably, the CPI of catering services grew 1.07 percent; housing and construction materials up 0.16 percent compared with February, while the CPI of other groups of goods such as home appliances and utensils, medicines and health, education, cultural, entertainment and tourism services grew 0.01-0.18 percent.
According to the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the CPI grew in March compared with February but considerably decreased in the first two months, so the inflation rate was minus 0.1 percent in March.
There has been an opinion that the CPI grew due to petroleum and electricity price rises on March 11 and March 16 respectively.
However, in the opinion of Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the Agency for Price Management under the Ministry of Finance, the periodical calculation of the CPI ended on March 15, so petroleum and electricity price rises did not affect the monthly index. Moreover, March 16 was a suitable time for raising electricity prices because the government decided not to increase electricity prices before Tet to prevent other kinds of goods from rising in price.
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade requested businesses not to increase petroleum prices until February 24 despite price rises in the world market. Nguyen Loc An, Deputy Director of the Domestic Market Department, said that by March 26, the two ministries had sent official letters to petroleum businesses, indicating that the petroleum price stabilization fund would be used at the rate of VND1,020 per liter of petrol.
Market surveillance needed
Electricity and petroleum price rises will affect the CPI of April. Therefore, ministries, sectors and localities need to keep a close watch on market changes in order to make price adjustments at suitable times.
In March 2015, the CPI rose due to long Tet holiday bringing about an increase in the demand for entertainment and catering services. However, the CPI growth was predictable.
The Domestic Market Management Team requested associations to provide guidelines for businesses to promote technological innovation and apply suitable energy saving methods to increase productivity and reduce the production cost, restricting the impact of electricity price rises on prices at which their products are sold. Associations also need to play well their role in preventing businesses from spontaneously increasing prices.
State management authorities will tighten supervision over general agents and agents in implementing existing regulations on trade in petroleum products.
By Thuy Ha