The February consumer price index (CPI) slipped 0.17 percentfrom the previous month due to falling demand for goods after Lunar New Year(Tet) holiday, falling petrol prices, and the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) outbreak, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The February consumer price index (CPI) slips 0.17 percent from the previous month -
Among 11 groups of products and services in the CPI basket, adecline was recorded in six groups: transport service (2.5 percent); culture,entertainment and tourism (0.43 percent); beverage and tobacco (0.28 percent);garment, head wear and footwear (0.13 percent); housing and building material(0.03 percent); and post and telecommunication services (0.05 percent).
Five groups with higher prices were restaurant and cateringservice (0.26 percent); other commodities and services (0.17 percent); medicineand medical services (0.13 percent); household appliances (0.08 percent); andeducation (0.04 percent).
Head of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngocsaid that falling demands for goods after Tet made the prices of garment andtextile, footwear, headwear, beverages and tobacco decrease.
She also said the decline in travel and festival activitiesdue to the COVID-19 outbreak was behind the fall in prices of tourism, hoteland entertainment services.
In addition, prices of fresh and processed fruits dropped inthe month as exports were impacted by close control at several border gatesduring the disease outbreak.
Ngoc added that petrol prices were adjusted down on February14, contributing to a 0.22 percent fall of the CPI.
Meanwhile, there were some factors helping curb the CPIuptrend, Ngoc said, noting that the COVID-19 outbreak since January pushedprices of medicine up 0.18 percent from the previous month.
Demand for power and water upped 0.44 percent and 0.64percent, respectively, in February as schools were closed and students stayedat home as a caution amid the COVID-19 threat, Ngoc stated, adding pricesof vegetables also rose significantly in February due to shortage of supplycaused by hailstones rain in the north and saline intrusion in the Mekong Deltaregion.
In February, gold prices moved in tandem with global goldprices, surging 2.74 percent from January to hover around 4.45 million VND(192.12 USD) per tael. Gold prices increased as investors move to invest insafer assets due to fear of a cloudy economic prospect caused by the COVID-19outbreak.
The VND/USD exchange rate was kept stable, with one USDexchanged for 23,300 VND, thanks to abundant foreign currency reserves of theState Bank.
The GSO said that core inflation (CPI excluding food items,energy products and commodities under the State management like medical andeducational services) in February inched up 0.17 percent from January, and 2.94percent from a year ago. The two-month core inflation climbed 3.1 percent fromthe same period in 2019.