CPI inches up 0.16 percent in May hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in May was up 0.16 percent against April and 2.9 percent from last year, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO) on May 29.      

Compared to last month, increases were seen in the prices of eight out of 11 main groups of goods and services, with transport taking the lead (0.76 percent) due to increasing petrol prices. It was followed by housing and construction materials (0.4 percent); electricity (2.54 percent); water (1.27 percent); food and catering services (0.04 percent); and equipment and household appliances (0.09 percent).

By contrast, prices of the three groups of culture, entertainment and tourism; post and telecommunication services; and garment-textile, headwear and footwear decreased by 0.23 percent, 0.15 percent, and 0.01 percent, respectively.

The index for the first five months of 2021 grew 1.29 percent year-on-year, the lowest growth rate since 2016.

Core inflation in May increased 0.15 percent month on month and 1.13 percent against the same period last year.

It expanded 0.82 percent in the first five months, lower than the period's 1.29 percent CPI, reflecting that the fluctuations in consumer prices were mainly due to increases in food, oil-petrol and gas prices.

The core inflation rates in May and the first five months of 2021 compared to the same periods last year were the lowest in the past five years. 

Vietnam’s CPI in the January-April period inched up 0.89 percent year-on-year, the lowest growth rate since 2016, according to the GSO.

The index in April was down 0.04 percent against the previous month while up 2.7 percent year on year. The decrease was attributed to cheaper prices of food and food stuff and abundant supply, and deceasing prices of electricity and domestic water.

The office reported that urban areas recorded a decrease of 0.08 percent of CPI in April, while rural areas increased by 0.01 percent.

Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Nguyen Thu Oanh said that the main reasons behind the low growth rate were the price index of the food and foodstuff group in urban areas decreasing by 0.06 percent, but in rural areas increasing by 0.03 percent.

Compared to the previous month, a downturn was seen in the prices of four out of 11 main groups of goods and services, with housing and construction materials taking the lead (0.43 percent). It was followed by post and telecommunication services (0.2 percent); food and catering services (0.13 percent); and culture, entertainment and tourism (0.11 percent).

The prices of garment-textile, headwear and footwear remained stable compared to the previous month.

Among the six commodity groups that witnessed increases in price, the prices of transport services posted the strongest increase of 0.87 percent, while those of drinking and tobacco 0.14 percent, equipment and household appliances 0.11 percent, commodities and other services 0.07 percent, education 0.03 percent, and medicine and medical service 0.01 percent.

The GSO’s Price Statistics Department attributed the CPI rise in the first four months to a hike in domestic and export prices of rice as well as the higher demand for the grain for the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

The rice price in the first four months of the year increased by 7.76 percent over the same period last year, contributing to a rise of 0.2 percentage point in the CPI, said Oanh.

Prices of foodstuff in the period rose 0.2 percent year on year, while those of gas and petrol climbed by 14.69 percent and 2.49 percent, respectively, from the previous year.

Prices of educational services in January-April saw a year-on-year rise of 4.48 percent, driven by a tuition fee hike starting from the 2020-21 academic year.

On contrary, electricity prices in the period fell by 5.88 percent over the same period last year.

In the months, airlines and tourism operators introduced a host of promotions to boost tourism. On average, the air ticket prices dropped by 17.4 percent, train fares down 7.39 percent; and tour prices down 3.32 percent.

Domestic gold price in April contracted 1.9 percent over the previous month but went up 13.84 percent year-on-year, making the four-month figure up by 20.84 percent.

Although the domestic gold price was down compared to the previous month, it is still higher than the world gold price by about 6 million VND (260USD) per tael, Oanh said.

Meanwhile, that of US dollar was around 23,170 VND per USD, up 0.29 percent month-on-month but down 1.35 percent year-on-year, bringing the figure down 0.77 percent in Jan-Apr.

Core inflation in April increased 0.07 percent month on month and 0.95 percent against the same period last year./.