The national Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined by 0.26 percent against the previous month, the first monthly decrease after 38 months of consecutive increases since April 2009, the General Statics Office (GSO) reported.

However, the average increase of CPI in the first six months this year was 12.2 percent against the first six months of last year.

Nguyen Duc Thang, head of the GSO’s Pricing Department attributed the CPI decrease in June to the impact of petrol and gas retail prices decreasing three times in May and June this year.

He said that prices of goods, especially food and restaurant services, which account for nearly 40 percent of the commodity groups also declined. Retail prices of rice went down 0.97 percent while food and foodstuff prices in general decreased by 0.78 percent and 0.31 percent respectively.

Out of 11 commodity groups prices of, housing, electricity, fuels and building materials also fell by 1.21 percent, while transport saw a 1.64 percent drop, post and telecoms, 1.69 percent, and culture and entertainment, services 0.27 percent.

The remaining groups saw slight increases, including home appliance. Drug and healthcare rose 0.46 percent, soft drinks and tobacco were up 0.33 percent, and education increased 0.1 percent. Most big cities with big consumption power saw decreases in CPI: Hanoi decreased 0.17 percent, followed by HCM City at 0.43 percent, Hai Phong at 0.19 percent, Thua Thien-Hue at 0.27 percent, Da Nang at 0.13 percent and Can Tho at 0.43 percent.

The gold price index in June decreased 2.03 percent and the US dollar price index slightly rose by 0.2 percent.

According to Thang and other economists, the downward trend of CPI will last into Q3 of this year due to weak purchase amidst economic difficulties and the side effects from the tightened monetary policy.-VNA