Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI ) in March edged down 0.44 percent against the previous month due to declining demand for goods and services after the Lunar New Year festival, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO) on March 24.

With the March figure, the CPI in the first quarter of this year was up 4.83 percent from the same period last year.

Four out of 11 commodity baskets saw a drop of 0.03 - 0.96 percent in prices. The sharpest decrease was seen in foodstuff and restaurant services. Meanwhile, the smallest declines were recorded in transport and postal and telecommunication services.

Other groups saw slight increases, between 0.03 and 0.24 percent.

During the month, the price of gold fluctuated strongly. The transaction price on March 15 hit 1,386 USD per ounce - the highest since September 9 last year.

According to Nguyen Duc Thang, head of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department, next month’s CPI will be 0.1 - 0.2 percent higher than March’s figure.-VNA