March CPI down 0.27% against February
  • | VET | March 29, 2018 11:01 PM
The CPI was down 0.27 per cent in March compared to February but up 2.66 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

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Eight of the eleven goods in the CPI basket declined during the month. Medicine and healthcare services saw the highest increase, of 1.98 per cent, as nine cities and provinces raised the price of medical services for those without health insurance cards.

Some goods in the basket saw only slender growth, such as household appliances and equipment, up 0.02 per cent, and education 0.01 per cent.

Most remaining goods and services fell, such as transport, down 0.77 per cent due to a decline in import taxes on automobiles from ASEAN to zero per cent, which caused a fall in domestic automobiles prices; restaurants and catering services, by 0.62 per cent due to a decline in the price of fresh food after Tet; housing and building materials, by 0.28 per cent; tobacco and beverages 0.28 per cent; garments, hats and footwear 0.17 per cent, due to increasing demand as winter approaches; culture, entertainment and tourism 0.1 per cent; and posts and telecommunications 0.04 per cent.

The GSO said that core inflation (the CPI excluding cereals, meat, energy and State-managed goods such as education and healthcare services) rose 2.82 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter. Core inflation in March fell 0.09 per cent compared to February and increased 1.38 per cent compared to March 2017.

Many localities adjusted prices for medical services and implemented a roadmap for increasing tuition fees. The first two months of this year featured the Tet holidays, resulting in higher travel demand. Global fuel prices also increased sharply in the first three months, raising the average petrol price by 9.18 per cent year-on-year and contributing 0.38 per cent to the CPI increase.

Higher regional minimum wages from January 1 pushed up the average price of services such as household appliance repairs and helper-hiring services in the first quarter, by 2-8 per cent compared to the same period of 2017.

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