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Feburary CPI at 0.73%

Released at: 08:42, 01/03/2018

Feburary CPI at 0.73%

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Retail sales and services revenue also up 13.2% year-on-year during Tet holiday.

by Quang Huy

The consumer price index (CPI) increased in February by an estimated 0.73 per cent against January and 3.15 per cent against February 2017 as local consumers boosted purchases ahead of the Tet holiday, which fell in mid-February and prompted buying demand to spike.

The index has risen 2.9 per cent on average in the first two months of this year against the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said in a report.

Among eleven goods and services in the CPI basket, nine increased, including food and catering services, by 1.53 per cent, transportation 0.79 per cent, beverages and cigarettes 0.75 per cent, other goods and services 0.74 per cent, and culture, entertainment and tourism 0.72 per cent.

Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Ms. Do Thi Ngoc, attributed the hike to strong demand for food, beverages, cigarettes and electricity during Tet and massive rice purchase for exports to Indonesia and the Philippines.

Public transportation costs went up 3.34 percent due to surging travel demand during the holiday. Other factors reined in CPI growth, such as falling gas and vegetable prices, which came down 5.14 per cent and 1.72 per cent, respectively.

Regarding the exchange rate, due to abundant foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and low demand for foreign currency by businesses at the beginning of the year, the local USD price remained stable in the black market, averaging VND22,740 per USD in February.

Core inflation during the first two months rose 1.32 per cent, indicating monetary policy is being well managed, the GSO added. The government aims to tame inflation at 4 per cent this year after it came in at 3.53 per cent in 2017.

Retail sales and services revenue up 13.2% year-on-year

Total revenue of retail sales and services in Vietnam reached VND350.4 trillion ($15.43 billion) in February, down 0.9 per cent against January but up 13.2 per cent against February 2017, according to the GSO.

Retail sales rose 0.7 per cent month-on-month and 14.8 per cent year-on-year to VND266.9 trillion ($11.76 billion).

Retail sales and services revenue totaled VND704 trillion ($31 billion) during the first two months, up 10.1 per cent year-on-year.

Of the total, retail sales in the two-month period stood at VND532 trillion ($23.43 billion), up 10 per cent year-on-year. Strong sales were recorded in food and foodstuffs, apparel, and household appliances.

Revenue from accommodation and restaurant services increased 10.2 per cent year-on-year to VND85.3 trillion ($3.76 billion) while revenue from travel services jumped 38.4 per cent year-on-year to VND7.5 trillion ($330.4 million).

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