The consumer price index (CPI) between January and May increases by 2.74 percent from the same period last year. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The consumer price index (CPI) between January and May increased by 2.74 percent from the same period last year – the slowest five-month pace over the last three years, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The GSO said on May 29 that the CPI in May grew by 0.49 percent from April, 1.5 percent from December 2018, and 2.88 percent from the same period last year.

Compared to the previous month, nine of the 11 groups of main consumer goods and services recorded price hikes in May, including transport (up 2.64 percent); housing fees and construction materials (1.28 percent); beverage and cigarette (0.18 percent); and garments, headwear, and footwear (0.12 percent).

Price declines were reported in medicines and healthcare services (down 0.06 percent), and postal and telecom services (0.05 percent).

Explaining the CPI expansion, Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc said the long National Reunification and May Day holiday fuelled demand for food services and travel, leading to higher prices in these groups.

Other contributors included routine petrol price adjustments, stronger electricity and water consumption due to hot weather, higher gas prices in the global market, and increased construction demand. They helped boost prices in relevant goods and services, she noted.

There were also some factors curbing the CPI uptrend, including the fall of rice prices due to abundant supply amid the harvest season, and the continued decrease of pork prices as a result of the African swine fever epidemic.

Ngoc said domestic gold prices dropped 0.5 percent from April to around 33.66 million VND per SJC-branded tael, which was in line with global fluctuations.

The USD per VND exchange rate soared at certain points of time, but did not rise suddenly thanks to the abundant forex reserves and the central bank’s effective exchange rate governance. The USD price in the market stood at the average of 23,351 VND per USD in May.

The GSO said the core inflation – which is the CPI excluding food items, energy products, and state-managed healthcare and educational services – in May inched up 0.13 percent month-on-month and 1.9 percent year on year. 

It expanded 1.85 percent in the first five months compared to the same period of 2018. –VNA