Compared to the previous month, the March CPI slid 0.27 percent on the back of abundant supply and weaker demand after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday ended, said GSO Director General Nguyen Thi Huong on March 29.

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The average CPI of the first quarter rose by 0.29 percent, the lowest increase for Q1 recorded in the last 20 years, while Q1’s core inflation picked up 0.67 percent.

Huong attributed the Q1’s CPI increase to the rice price which surged 8.55 percent year-on-year from January-March as a result of rising global price and high demand for premium rice during the Tet holiday.

The prices of several main groups of goods and services also moved upward, pushing up the costs of catering services by 2.08 percent year-on-year.

The cost of education services rose 4.49 percent due to the latest raise in school fees under a roadmap set in Decree 86/2015/ND-CP dated October 2, 2015.

Meanwhile, the government’s activation of aid packages for people and businesses affected by COVID-19 was among factors helping ease the pressure on Q1’s CPI, according to the GSO official. The Vietnam Electricity (EVN)’s power bill cut in the second and fourth quarters of last year caused the electricity price to decline 7.18 percent in January, which contributed to a CPI decrease of 0.24 percentage points during the period.

The average petrol and oil prices in Q1 also fell by 9.54 percent year-on-year, making the three-month CPI to drop 0.34 percentage points. The resurgence of COVID-19 in early 2021 has weakened travel demand, causing airfares, train fares and holiday packages costs to decrease by 24.28 percent, 10.03 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Domestic gold price in March was down 2.97 percent month-on-month but up 16.84 percent year-on-year, making the average gold price in Q1 increase 23.27 percent.

Source: VNA