HA NOI (VNS)— Consumer purchasing rose by 8.1 per cent in January, compared to the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
However, the increase is far below the 22-per-cent pace seen during the same month a year ago, the GSO said.
GSO economist Vu Manh Ha attributed the slower pace of growth to Tet falling in February this year, instead of January, with January figures not reflecting holiday bonuses.
He noted that purchasing power this month was set to exceed last year's figure of VND209.5 trillion (US$10 billion).
The seasonal rise in retail sales before the nation's biggest holiday was also expected to help reduce inventories significantly.
The inventory index currently stands at 21.5 per cent, but such products as beer, tobacco, sugar and processed seafood were expected see strong decreases in inventories following the holiday shopping season. — VNS