The nation’s consumer price index (CPI) in Jan. rose 1.36 percent over the previous month and 7.62 percent over the same period last year, the General Statistics Office said.
The GSO reported that 10 out of 11 goods categories recorded increases of between 0.27 percent and 2.24 percent but post and telecommunication dropped by 0.11 percent.
Goods and services posted an increase of 2.24 percent. This was followed by food and restaurant services with 2.11 percent; housing and construction materials, 1.66 percent; garments and footwear, 1.24 percent and beverages and tobacco, 1.14 percent. Medicine and health care services was at the bottom of the list with an increase of only 0.27 percent.
The increase in January’s CPI was attributed to the rise in prices of essential goods serving traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, an increase in petrol prices of 450 VND per liter and the announcement of bonuses for Tet by a number of enterprises, said economists.
In Hanoi and HCM City, the prices of imported confectionery, beverages, cooking oil and milk rose despite the stable foreign exchange rates.
Deputy Head of the GSO’s Trade and Pricing Department Nguyen Duc Thang said that the prices of essential goods for Tet will continue fluctuating despite enterprises’ efforts to stabilize the market by stockpiling goods.
The CPI in February is expected to stand at 2-2.5 percent, he said.
He suggested that measures need to be taken to monitor the market and food hygiene security, to fight against fake goods and punish activities to create high prices.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry’s representatives said that the CPI in February is forecast to be around 2 percent.
They said that the ministry has coordinated with market management and relevant agencies to manage prices. Furthermore, a number of major businesses have been provided 949 billion VND in non-interest-bearing loans to stockpile goods to stabilize the market.
Meanwhile, the prices of the US dollar and gold fell by 0.11 percent and 2.94 percent, respectively, over the previous month.