Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The consumer price index (CPI) in the first  half of 2019 increased on average 2.64 percent against the same period last year, the lowest pace recorded over the past three years, General Statistics Office (GSO) General Director Nguyen Bich Lam announced on June 28.

Lam said at a press conference in Hanoi that the index in June dropped 0.09 percent over the previous month but expanded 2.16 percent year-on-year.

The official attributed the fall and the slight growth to price management efforts as well as the flexible monetary policy of the State Bank of Vietnam.

Do Thi Ngoc, head of the Price Statistics Department, said prices of some consumer goods went up in the first six months due to the increasing demand during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

In the reviewed period, food, beverages and cigarettes, clothes, public transport and tourism services experienced price hikes.

Of note, the adjustment of electricity price and the greater demand during the Tet - the longest and most important yearly holiday in Vietnam - and the second quarter which marked the run of the hot weather led to a year-on-year rise of 5.84 percent of electricity price.

Besides, prices of construction materials and office supplies also increased, heard the press conference.

Between January and June, the price of oil and gas fell 3.55 percent against the corresponding time last year, contributing to a 0.15 percent fall in the CPI.

Education and health services also experienced price decreases during the period.

Statistics show that June’s basic inflation (CPI exclusive of foodstuff, fresh food, energy, health care and education services) rose 0.16 percent against the previous month and 1.96 percent year-on-year.

In the first half, the figure went up 1.87 percent year-on-year, which, Lam said, signals the efficiency of the monetary policy.-VNA