HANOI, Jan 22, 2009 (AFP) - Vietnam's consumer prices rose by 17.48 percent year-on-year in January in the lead-up to the Tet Lunar New Year festival starting this weekend, the General Statistics Office said Thursday.
However the month-on-month figure was down 0.32 percent compared with December 2008.
The rise in the index was driven by 38.55 percent surge in food prices, while housing and construction materials were up by 6.24 percent from a year ago.
Beverage and tobacco prices were up by 13.24 percent compared to January 2008 but down by 1.89 percent compared to last month.
The month-on-month fall comes amid lower world commodity and energy prices and domestic fuel price cuts.
Vietnam's consumer prices rose by 23 percent in 2008, sharply up from eight percent in 2007.