CPI rises as food and fuel rise
VIETNAM, March 1 –
People fill up their bikes at a gas station in Hà Nội. Fluctuations in consumer prices were reported, mainly due to rising food and fuel prices. — Photo VNA
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s CPI rose 1% in February and 1.42% from the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office of Việt Nam.
The bureau said the rise in the CPI was the result of rising global gasoline prices and the side effect of the Tết holiday, which typically raises prices due to a spike in demand. .
In the first two months of 2022, the CPI increased by 1.68% compared to the same period last year, and underlying inflation by 0.67%.
In February, among the 11 baskets of goods and services, 10 recorded increases, the highest being transport. At the same time, post and telecommunications prices fell by 0.04 percent.
The GSO pointed out that core inflation in February rose 0.49% from the previous month and 0.68% from the same period last year. In the first two months, core inflation increased by 0.67% year-on-year, which is lower than the overall average CPI, reflecting the fluctuation in consumer prices mainly due to the rise food and fuel prices.
Since February 21, the price of RON 95 gas has reached an all-time high at VND 26,000 per litre, driving up the prices of products and services. For example, Grab added an extra 2,000 VND to its food delivery service. Transport companies should increase their prices as they have done in the past when gasoline prices rose sharply.
In addition, the prices of consumer goods are said to be on the rise, especially vegetables, as northern Việt Nam suffered from a historic cold spell that devastated much of its vegetable production area. It would take at least a few weeks for the price to return to a normal level as production resumes.
Apart from petrol and vegetables, the vast majority of staples have returned to pre-holiday price levels, a representative from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said.
Economists have expressed concern over rising prices in the global market as economies recover from the pandemic, which typically produces stronger demand for commodities. Meanwhile, supply remained insufficient as the global supply chain was severely disrupted and has not fully recovered.
Major commodities, including energy, industrial steel, rare metals and agricultural products, would be at a higher price level than before the pandemic, especially medical supplies due to the increase in COVID-19 infections.
Previously, the government had announced a reduction in VAT, from 10% to 8%, in order to combat the rise in the CPI and inflation. Meanwhile, steps have been taken to increase production of key commodities to meet market demand, according to the MoIT.
The ministry said it was working closely with local governments across the country to better meet the demand for goods and services in each region and to ensure smooth distribution to avoid shortages of goods and rising prices.
In addition, the ministry’s market surveillance force has been tasked with stepping up inspections and investigations to discourage speculation and hoarding of key commodities, especially gasoline. During this time, the ministry will continue to publicly release information on supply and demand for important goods and services. —VNS