Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The country’s consumer price index (CPI) in February inched up 0.23 percent from last month and 5.02 percent year-on-year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on February 28.

Out of the 11 main goods and service groups, seven experienced price hikes during the month, including housing and construction material (0.77 percent), transportation (0.56 percent), medicines and healthcare services (0.22 percent), culture, entertainment and tourism (0.15 percent), other commodities and services (0.14 percent), restaurants and food services (0.11 percent) and household appliances (0.05 percent).

Meanwhile, slight falls were seen in telecommunication (0.07 percent), garment, hats and footwear (0.05 percent) and beverage and tobacco (0.01 percent). Education group remained unchanged.

Do Thi Ngoc, Deputy Head of the GSO’s CPI Department said that 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, Ngoc stated.

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

In the month, gold price continued to rise in line with the global trend despite rumor that the US Federal Reserve is going to lift interest rate. The price of gold in the domestic market fluctuated at around 36.9 million VND (1,621 USD) per tael.

Meanwhile, US dollar exchange rates remained stable at around 22,800 VND per US dollar thanks to profuse supply and low demand from enterprises.

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

Core inflation rate was under 2 percent, reflecting a stable monetary policy, it said.

The GSO forecasted that CPI in March will be higher than February due to surges in world prices of fuel and possible adjustments in healthcare services in 10 cities and provinces in line with the roadmap specified in Circular 37.-VNA