Q1 CPI up 0.29 percent, lowest in 20 years hinh anh 1 (Illustrative photo: Vietnamplus)

Hanoi (VNA) – The average consumer price index (CPI) of the first quarter of this year rose by 0.29 percent, the lowest increase for the first quarter recorded in the last 20 years, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

In comparison with the previous month, March consumer price index slid 0.27 percent on the back of abundant supply and weaker demand after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday ended, said General Statistics Office Director General Nguyen Thi Huong.

Seven out of 11 groups of food decreased

In the consumer price index basket of goods and services, seven out of 11 commodity groups declined compared to February and four out of 11 rose.

Specifically, the group of food and catering services saw the strongest drop, at 1.46 percent (making the overall consumer price index decrease by 0.49 percentage points).

The reason is that the price of pork, livestock meat, poultry, seafood, and fresh vegetables plummeted because of the plentiful supplies.

In addition, the consumer demand after Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday decreased, so the prices of beverages and tobacco fell by 0.37 percent, the group of apparel, hats and footwear decreased by 0.2 percent.

In addition, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the demand for tourism and festivals decreased, so the group of culture, entertainment and tourism decreased by 0.03 percent as well as the group of other goods and services decreased by 0.28 percent.

However, in March, the transportation group increased by 2.29 percent (making the overall CPI increase by 0.22 percentage points), due to the adjustments of gasoline and oil prices that caused the price of E5 gasoline to increase by 1,550 VND per liter, the price of A95 gasoline increased by 1,770 VND per liter, and the diesel oil price increased by 1,200 VND per liter.

Q1 CPI up 0.29 percent, lowest in 20 years hinh anh 2General Statistics Office holds a press conference to announce socio-economic statistics of the first quarter of 2021, March 29. (Photo: Vietnam+)

In addition, the housing fever also caused the housing and construction materials group to increase by 0.24 percent, mainly from the input material and fuel group.

In addition, the gas price also increased by 1.37 percent  when the world gas price increased by 15 USD per ton (from 595 USD per tonne to 610 USD per tonne).

Regarding the gold price, the price index decreased by 2.97 percent compared to February and decreased by 0.63 percent from December of 2020, but still increased by 16.84 percent over the same period last year.

In the opposite direction, the USD price index increased by 0.23 percent over the previous month, but still decreased by 0.11 percent compared to December of 2020 and decreased by 0.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

The March consumer price index in Hanoi fell 0.21 percent month-on-month but rose 1.12 percent year-on-year, according to the municipal Statistics Office.

Seven out of 11 groups of commodities posted price declines in March compared to February, with food and catering services experiencing a fall of 1.54 percent, driven by declines in the price of food (2.24 percent) and fruit and vegetables (8.97 percent).

Many types of fruit and vegetables saw a bumper harvest, which provided the market with an abundant supply and eased the pressure on prices.

Others witnessing month-on-month falls included beverages and tobacco (0.41 percent), post and telecommunications (0.22 percent), and culture, entertainment, and tourism (0.11 percent).

Growth was seen in three groups, with the largest rise of 2.36 percent recorded in transport as a result of petrol and oil prices being revised upwards twice during the month, by a total of 6.87 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

The CPI in the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City inched down 0.33 percent in March against February, according to the city's Statistics Office. The first-quarter figure rose 0.84 percent compared to last year's average./.