A rice field is ruined by drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in April increased by 0.33 percent against the previous month, driving the average figure in the first four months of this year up 1.41 percent.

The General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on April 24 that this month’s index expanded by 1.89 percent over the same period last year.

Eight out of the 11 groups of commodities and services experienced price hikes. The highest was recorded in the transport sector with 1.73 percent, followed by the group of housing and construction materials, 0.71 percent; medicines and medical services, 0.45 percent; education services, 0.37 percent; and beverages and tobacco, 0.17 percent.

Prices of restaurant and catering services remained stable in the month while the category of culture, entertainment and tourism experienced a slice of 0.01 percent.

Do Thi Ngoc, Deputy Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department, attributed the CPI expansion to impacts of the drought in the central and Central Highlands regions and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta that pushed rice price up.

Besides, the increasing demand for construction kept the price of building materials high, she said, adding that water price increased by 0.3 percent due to the higher demand in the early summer.

While the domestic gold price fluctuated in accordance with the world gold and petroleum prices, the price of US dollar remained stable at 22,300-22,400 VND/USD during the month.

The office said core inflation (the CPI without food and fresh foodstuff, energy and State-controlled commodities such as healthcare and education services) in April rose by 0.19 percent against the previous month and 1.76 percent compared with the corresponding time last year, bringing the inflation rate in the first four months of this year to 1.76 percent.-VNA