According to a report released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) last Friday, prices of four out of the 11 groups of items used for CPI calculation have declined this month, with the most-weighted group showing the sharpest decrease and other groups seeing low price hikes. This is the reason why the CPI is down this month.
Following the downward momentum in April, food and catering services have continued shrinking 0.35% month-on-month. Food and foodstuff, with the greater weighting in the group, both have marked a decline of 0.69% and 0.45% respectively, while dining services have experienced a slight rise of 0.32%.
In the year to date, the food group after many months of dropping constantly has posted a reduction of 1.62% compared to December in 2012, which amounts to a decrease of up to 3.39% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the foodstuff group has picked up 2.27% while catering services have soared 3.81% against December, 2012, leading to a surge of 1.81% for the food and catering service group in the five-month period.
Among the commodity groups with price falls in May are also housing and construction materials with a contraction of 0.53%, traffic with 0.57% and telecom and post with 0.07% against last month.
Among seven commodity groups with price hikes this month, the price growth of groups relating to household spending exclusive of essential goods is pretty low, reflecting slackened demand in the local market, GSO reports.
For example, beverage and tobacco have soared 0.41%, while textile, hat and footwear and home appliances and utensils groups have marked up 0.36% and culture, tourism and entertainment have increased 0.23% versus last month.
Like in previous months, the medicine and healthcare service group has posted the highest rise, at 1.52% month-on-month, with healthcare services jumping 1.92%.
Overall, the CPI has tumbled 0.06% this month versus April, marking the second consecutive month of the CPI fall since early this year, with the January-May index climbing 2.35% versus December in 2012 and 6.36% over the year-ago period.
Urban areas this month have witnessed the CPI falling 0.11%, much higher than the country’s average growth, while rural areas have seen a 0.01% month-on-month drop. Most provinces and cities have reported CPI declines this month while some others have posted an index pickup, with Thua Thien-Hue growing 0.18%.
This month’s CPI fall is forecast earlier when HCMC and Hanoi as the nation’s two biggest cities have announced a fall in consumer prices this month against the month earlier.
The CPI in HCMC has declined for the third consecutive month, resulting in a mild rise of 0.66% in January-May, the lowest in 15 years.