HCM City’s CPI down 0.33 percent in March hinh anh 1Consumers select Vietnamese products at a mall in HCM City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - The CPI in the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City inched down 0.33 percent in March against February, according to the city’s Statistics Office.

The first-quarter figure rose 0.84 percent compared to last year’s average.

Among 11 groups of products and services in the CPI basket, increases were seen in transportation fees, of 2.04 percent, education 0.004 percent, and the group of culture, entertainment, and tourism 0.4 percent.

Affected by petrol price adjustments on February 25 and March 12, fuel prices rose 5.76 percent.

Meanwhile, restaurant and catering services saw the strongest decline, of 1.46 percent, while foodstuff was up 0.25 percent against February.

The strongest slumps in this group were seen in vegetables (4.76 percent), beef (3.47 percent), and poultry (2.64 percent), as consumer demand returned to normal after the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday in February, the largest traditional festival of the Vietnamese people.

Also falling were beverages and tobacco (0.36 percent), and garments, hats, and footwear (0.02 percent).

The group of housing, electricity, water, and construction materials were down 0.09 percent against February. This included falls of 0.56 percent in the power price, 0.1 percent in the water price, and 1.43 percent in gas and fuel prices due to increases in petrol prices.

The price of household devices and appliances fell 0.13 percent against February.

The Statistics Office also reported that the gold price was down 1.79 percent in March but up 25.89 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. The US dollar exchange rate expanded 0.11 percent in March compared to February, but was down 0.91 percent year-on-year in the first quarter./.