|Students shop for books at a store in Ha Noi. Strong demand for school supplies as the new school year began in September was outlined as one of main reasons for the stronger purchasing power in the first 10 months. — VNA/VNS Photo Quy Trung
HA NOI (VNS)— Retail sales and service revenue was estimated to reach VND2,158 trillion (US$102.8 billion) in the first 10 months of 2013, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The figure represents a 12.6 per cent year-on-year rise, although it would be only 5.5 per cent if price hikes were excluded.
The hotel and restaurant sector posted the highest growth rate, contributing VND260.2 trillion ($12.4 billion) to total turnover and registering a year-on-year increase of 14.9 per cent.
The service sector followed with VND220.2 trillion ($10.5 billion), up 14.8 per cent over last year.
The GSO attributed the stronger purchasing power to higher demand in the wedding season and demand for school supplies as the new school year began in September, as well as warm clothes as winter approached.
Vu Manh Ha, an expert at the GSO, said the lower consumer price index (CPI) in October helped boost demand.
This month's CPI was also much lower than the past few months. In September and August, CPI rose 1.06 per cent and 0.83 per cent respectively.
CPI increased by 5.14 per cent from December 2012 and by 5.92 per cent from October last year.
According to the GSO, the cost of nine of the 11 goods used to calculate the CPI increased this month, with food prices surging the most.
The price of transport dropped by 0.17 per cent, while prices of postal services and telecommunications inched down 0.03 per cent.
In October, CPI in urban areas posted slower growth than in rural areas, at 0.42 per cent compared to 0.54 per cent.
Gold prices, not included in the CPI, lost 2.87 per cent month-on-month and US dollar prices edged down 0.18 per cent. — VNS