Vietnam’s consumer price index ( CPI ) in March edged down 0.19 percent against the previous month due to declining demand for goods and services after the Lunar New Year festival, reported the General Statistics Office on March 23.

With the March figure, CPI in the first quarter of this year was up 2.39 percent and 6.91 percent from December, 2012, and the same period last year respectively.

Four out of 11 commodity baskets saw a drop of 0.05 – 0.53 percent in prices. The sharpest decrease was seen in foodstuff and restaurant services. Food and foodstuff prices went down 0.59 percent and 0.95 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, a slight decline was recorded in postal and telecommunication services. Other declines were seen in beverages-tobacco and transport services, the latter of which inched down 0.25 percent thanks to the Government’s fuel price stabilisation policy and discount schemes by various transport firms.

In a macro-economic perspective, experts blamed weak supply and demand on the Government’s goal of curbing inflation in combination with ongoing cautious financial and monetary policies.

During the month, gold prices moved down 0.73 percent while the US dollar index was up 0.41 percent. This drove their respective prices down 0.8 percent and 0.05 percent year-on-year.-VNA