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Pandemic sends CPI down in March
The Saigon Times
Saturday,  Mar 28, 2020,12:36 (GMT+7)

Pandemic sends CPI down in March

The Saigon Times

Consumers inspect fruits and vegetables at a supermarket. Vietnam’s CPI in March dropped 0.72% month-on-month – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in March dropped 0.72% month-on-month, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

An ample supply of poultry, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, and the sharp fall in the global oil price, as a result of the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil price war, are behind the drop in the index.

This month, seven out of 11 groups of consumer goods and services in the basket of items used to calculate the CPI have seen a drop in prices, with the group of transportation taking the lead, recording a fall of 4.87%, which was impacted by the decrease in prices of local fuel products and public transport services.

The group of culture-entertainment-tourism has seen its price edging down 1.4% as a result of falling travel demand among local people due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

Also, the groups of food and catering services; housing and building materials; apparel-headwear-footwear; beverages and cigarettes have tumbled 0.43%, 0.25%, 0.15% and 0.11%, respectively.

However, this month the CPI rose 0.34% against the figure in December and grew by 4.87% over the same period last year.

Also, the country’s core inflation in March declined 0.06%, compared to the previous month.

Data from the GSO indicates that the average CPI in the first quarter inched up 5.56% versus the year-ago figure, the highest growth rate during the 2016-2020 period.

The soaring demand for food and foodstuff, vegetables and fruits, electricity and water during the Tet holiday left a significant impact on the rise in the index during the quarter, the GSO noted.

Further, heavy downpours and hail in northern localities, as well as drought and seawater intrusion in the Mekong Delta region, have resulted in a dwindling supply of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the spread of the coronavirus has hindered China’s vegetable exports to Vietnam, increasing vegetable prices during the quarter by 4.14%.

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