Petrol, power push up CPI in January

Monday, Jan 29, 2018 14:10

Consumer demand increases significantly in the month a head of Tet. — File Photo

The consumer price index (CPI) in January rose by 0.51 per cent over the previous month and 2.65 per cent over the same month last year.

This was revealed in the latest update of the General Statistics Office (GSO).

This was the highest month-on-month increase in the past three years, compared to 0.46 per cent in January 2017, zero per cent in January 2016 and a drop of 0.2 per cent in January 2015.

The hike in CPI was driven by the increase in prices of a majority of products with Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays around the corner, pushing up shopping demand, said Do Thi Ngoc, Deputy Director of GSO’s CPI Department.

According to the statistics, 10 out of 11 major categories of goods and services saw a jump in prices in the first month of this year.

Medicine and healthcare services were up by 1.83 per cent, transportation services by 1.17 per cent, housing and building material by 0.55 per cent, restaurants and catering services by 0.44 per cent and beverage and tobacco products by 0.35 per cent. Only the prices of telecom services saw a drop by 0.09 per cent.

The increase in petrol and oil prices since the beginning of this year contributed 0.11 per cent to CPI’s increase in January, while the increase in electricity prices by 2.64 per cent since the beginning of December contributed 0.06 per cent. The hike in healthcare services by 2.34 per cent in nine provinces and cities under central management contributed 0.09 per cent to CPI’s increase.

With Tet approaching, the demand for building material, house repairing services and transportation increased significantly, which also pushed up prices. Viet Nam Railways has increased the railway ticket prices by 6.54 per cent.

Prices of vegetables, however, dropped significantly by 2.77 per cent due to favourable weather conditions which helped boost output.

GSO said core inflation in January rose by 0.18 per cent over December 2017 and 1.18 per cent over the same period last year.

Ngoc said the month-on-month increase in core inflation in January was the lowest since 2017, indicating the monetary policies were going in the appropriate direction.

The government’s goal is to keep inflation below 4 per cent in 2018.

CPI in 2017 rose by 3.35 per cent, fulfilling the government’s target of below 4 per cent inflation. — VNS

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