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NEWS UPDATES 22 March 2010

Vietnam records slight rise in March inflation

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Consumer price indices in both Ha Noi and HCM City have risen slightly this month, local online news website Vietnam NetBridge reported, citing the respective municipal statistics departments.

The capital city's CPI increased 0.75 per cent against February, taking it to 3.78 percent for the first quarter and up 9.58 per cent against last year.

Restaurant services topped the list with an increase of 1.23 per cent with foodstuff recording an increase of 1.19 per cent this month.

Cultural, entertainment and tourism activities saw slight increases of between 0.12 per cent and 0.92 per cent, as did electricity and clean water, fuel, housing and building materials, transportation, beverages and tobacco and household appliances.

Medicines and healthcare services, education, textiles, garments and footwear prices also rose by between 0.01 and 0.05 per cent.

Food prices declined by 0.35 per cent this month while prices of telecommunications services remained unchanged.

The prices of gold and the US dollar, meanwhile, were up by 0.59 per cent and 0.49 per cent, respectively, over February.

Despite a recent drop in prices, gold and US dollar prices soared in the first quarter of the year, with increases of 14.4 per cent and 10.23 per cent, respectively against the same period last year.

In HCM City, the CPI in March rose by 0.78 per cent against last month and 10.27 per cent against the same period last year, said Du Quang Nam, head of the city's Statistics Department.

The CPI in the first quarter of the year rose by 3.78 per cent for an average increase of 1.26 per cent per month.

According to the department, the city saw lower purchasing power this month because prices remained as high as they were just before the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

The price of food declined by 1.2 per cent in March compared to last month while the price of foodstuff increased by 1.6 per cent. The situation was contrary to the same period last year, the department said.

In March, transportation prices have seen the sharpest increase of 1.48 per cent, followed by housing and construction materials and restaurant services, with increases of 1.26 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

Other products and services used to determine the CPI also increased slightly, including beverages and tobacco, textiles, garments and footwear, household appliances, medicines and healthcare services, education and cultural, entertainment and tourism activities.

Telecommunication service prices have fallen slightly this month.

The rise in CPI is attributed to the increase in electricity, petrol, gas and steel prices as well as taxi fares and transportation fees.


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