The national Consumer Price Index (CPI) in February rose by only 1.32 percent against the previous month, a 7.02 percent increase over the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on February 23.

Head of the GSO’s Price Department Nguyen Duc Thang attributed the slight rise to the abundant supplies of essential commodities.

Ten out of the 11 groups of commodities saw price hikes ranging from 0.03 percent to 2.28 percent. The highest rise during the month was seen in the group of restaurants and catering services while education experienced the lowest price increase.

Food prices this month witnessed a modest increase of 0.37 percent, mainly because of a 0.85 percent fall in the price of rice in the Mekong Delta.

Two groups of commodities that also saw price increase were beverage and transportation due to the high demand during the Lunar New Year.

During the month, the gold price dropped by 0.33 percent while the USD price saw a slight increase of 0.03 percent.

The CPI in March and the following months are expected to rise following the increase in oil and gas prices.-VNA