After a three-month of consecutive fall, Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in January increased by 0.32% against December 2008′s figure and rose by 17.48% from January 2008, reported the General Statistical Office (GSO).
Normally, the country’s CPI often increases slightly in the first month of the year. However, this year’s first month posted a lower rise in comparison with previous years. Particularly, the CPI increased by 2.38% last January and it rose by 1.1% in January 2007, 1.2% in January 2006, 1.1% in January 2005 and 1.1% in January 2004.
Nine out of ten commodity groups experienced price increases from 0.07 to 1.93%, while transport and telecommunications services were the only group to post a decrease of 3.51%, due to decreases in the prices of petroleum and telecommunication charges.
Home appliances and services posted the highest jump at 1.93%, followed by drinks and cigarettes with 1.89%, sports and entertainment rose by 1.66%, garments, headwear and footwear up 1.46% and food and restaurant services, increased by 0.39%. The education group posted the lowest rise with 0.07%.
The GSO attributed higher costs of home appliances, drinks, cigarettes and garments to increasing customer demand, as people eagerly prepared for the Lunar New Year Festival (Tet), which falls on January 26 this year.
However, the office said that the slight increase in the cost of food and restaurant services is a result of local authorities’ efforts to assist major businesses in stocking up on goods a month ago.
Prices of both gold and the US dollar rose sharply during January, with the price of gold increasing by 3.64% from December 2008 and the US$/dong exchange rate leaping by 1.48% from the last month of 2008.
On January 22, the US dollar price was quoted at 16,975 dong per US dollar in the interbank market and the gold price was at 17.7 million dong per tael.