Lower petroleum prices behind notable decline.
For the first time in 18 years the consumer price index (CPI) in February fell against January, primarily because of lower petroleum prices.
The CPI fell 0.05 per cent compared to January and by 0.25 per cent against December, but increased 0.34 per cent year-on-year.
Of the eleven goods and services in the CPI basket, prices fell in just three. Transport saw the sharpest decline, of 4.41 per cent, due to lower petroleum prices stemming from the plunging oil price. It contributed 0.39 per cent of the total CPI decline in February.
Housing and construction materials and post and telecommunications also contributed to the falling CPI, by 0.41 per cent and 0.02 per cent, respectively.
Medicine, health care, education and culture only fluctuated slightly.
On the other hand, demand during Tet rose so the price of some goods also increased. Restaurants and services rose by 0.53 per cent, the largest proportion, while food prices increased but were offset to some degree by falling transport costs.
Beverages and cigarettes rose by 0.56 per cent, while textiles and footwear increased 0.45 per cent. Household items and equipment increased 0.31 per cent and personal services by 0.74 per cent.