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February CPI climbs slowly in major cities
The consumer price index (CPI) in the country's two biggest cities, Ha Noi and HCM City, rose only 0.49 per cent and 0.24 per cent respectively this month over January.
February's CPI in Ha Noi saw the lowest jump in 10 years, according to the municipal Statistics Office. This shows that the people's purchasing power has not improved after the recent nine-day-long Lunar New Year holiday.
Apart from a rise of 1.06 per cent in prices of food and food services, the other products in the CPI basket indicated an average price hike of less than 0.6 per cent. Housing, electricity, water supply and building materials actually saw price reductions compared with January.
A fall in gas prices resulted in a price reduction of housing, electricity, water supply and building materials by 0.5 per cent over the previous month. Healthcare, education and telecommunications services did not experience any price hike.
In February, the gold prices soared by 2.64 per cent, while the US dollar prices dropped 0.01 per cent compared with January. In HCM City, the CPI in the first two months of the year posted a rise of 0.64 per cent against the same period last year.
According to the municipal Statistics Office, in February, the prices of food and catering services also saw the highest increase of 0.76 per cent in the CPI basket. Of these, the price of food rose 0.15 per cent while that of food services was 0.84 per cent.
The prices of transport and post sectors saw a slight increase of 0.69 per cent; that of beverages and cigarettes rose 0.33 per cent and of entertainment by 0.28 per cent. There was no price hike in telecommunications and education.
The prices of housing, water, electricity and building materials were reduced by 1.49 per cent compared with the previous month.
In February, the gold prices increased by 0.31 per cent, while the US dollar prices slipped 0.07 per cent against January.
Vegetables prices surge
The cold weather in recent days has caused the vegetable prices to skyrocket by 40 to 70 per cent or even 200 per cent, compared with the lower prices before the Tet holiday.
For example, the current price of tomato in Mai Dong Market in Hoang Mai's District is VND8,000 per kilo instead of VND6,000 per kilo earlier, and that of cauliflower is VNDD15,000 each instead of VND7,000 earlier.
Nguyen Thanh Mai, a vegetable seller at the market, said the main reason for the price hike was the prolonged cold weather, making it hard for the vegetables to grow.
"In addition, the supply was limited because this is the end of the vegetable crop season," Mai said.