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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stronger demand, higher rice prices drive up February CPI

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The February consumer price index (CPI) has picked up by 3.98% over the same period last year, driven primarily by stronger consumer demand during the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) and higher domestic rice prices, according to the General Statistics Office.

The factors that have fueled the CPI rise include a 21.6% year-on-year increase in rice prices and a 9.44% rise in electricity tariffs, attributed to heightened consumption and adjustments in retail electricity prices.

Nguyen Thu Oanh, head of the Price Statistics Department at the General Statistics Office, ascribed the rice price spike to rising global demand, climate change-induced undersupply, and Indian rice export ban, said Vietnamplus news site (vietnamplus.vn).

Compared to the previous month, the CPI has increased by 1.04%, with urban areas seeing a 0.98% rise and rural areas experiencing a 1.09% increase. In the first two months of 2024, the CPI has grown by 3.67% against the same period in 2023, with core inflation rising by 2.84%.

Among the 11 groups of consumer goods and services used to calculate the CPI, prices of nine groups have increased compared to January. Food and catering services have inched up by 1.7%, contributing 0.57 basis points to the CPI increase.

Within the food group, staple prices have grown by 1.8%, while general food categories have inched up by 2%. Dining-out prices have increased by 1%. Meat prices have edged up as well, with pork rising by 3.9% and beef by 1.7%. Poultry and fresh seafood prices have increased by 2% and 1.8%, respectively.

The culture, entertainment, and tourism sector has witnessed a 0.79% increase in price due to strong shopping and travel demand during the Lunar New Year. Prices of flowers, ornamental plants, and scenic objects have gained by 4.19%, while entertainment services have advanced by 1.09%.

Transportation prices have picked up by 3.09%, household appliances and utensils by 0.26%, and housing and construction materials by 0.43%. Beverage and tobacco prices have risen by 0.8% on increased Tet consumption.

Clothing and footwear prices have edged up by 0.16% due to higher labor and material costs and increased clothing purchases during Tet.

In contrast, the postal and telecommunications sector edged down by 0.17% due mainly to promotional discounts on older mobile phone models. The education sector has dropped by 0.42%, primarily due to a 0.48% decrease in education services.

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