The January consumer price index (CPI) in Ho Chi Minh City in the lead up to the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, increased only 0.4 percent from last month though eight out of the 11 commodities in the CPI-measuring basket have risen, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

The group with the sharpest rise in prices is transport with a surge of 1.24 percent month-on-month under the impact of the fuel price hike on December 18, the daily said, citing figures released by the city’s Statistics Office.

The second group marking a remarkable hike is housing, water, power and building materials with a rise of 1.2 percent month-on-month.

Food and catering services as the most-weighted group in the basket of commodities used to calculate the CPI posted a slight spike, at 0.16 percent, with food, foodstuff and dining-out services rising by 0.33 percent, 0.19 percent, and 0.04 percent from the previous month.

The price hikes are said to be low compared to those in previous years, which is seen as pretty strange as prices of goods often strongly move up in the final months before the Tet holiday in other years caused by a sharp increase in local consumption demand.

As such, the CPI has reflected the actual situation in the city’s market when commodity prices are rather stable because purchasing demand has yet to go up despite the approaching Tet holiday.

The weak shopping demand is also reflected in the price indexes of many items such as textile-garment, footwear, household utensils and devices and tobacco and drinks.

Besides, post-telecom services and education see no price changes this month while medicine and healthcare services decline 0.12 percent.

Overall, the January CPI in Ho Chi Minh City is up 0.4 percent month-on-month and 5.16 percent year-on-year, the lowest rates over as many years.-VNA