|Customers purchase goods from shops in My Tho market in Nam Dinh province. Domestic consumption demand is being stymied as locals curb spending habits and focus on buying only essential goods and services. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — The nation's total retail sales and service revenues increased 11.6 per cent year-on-year to VND474.10 trillion (US$22.6 billion) in the first two months, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.
Vu Manh Ha, a senior expert at the GSO Trade Department, said that the nation's retail sales during the reviewed period has returned to average growth of 6.2 per cent, if price hikes were excluded.
The growth, however, was far lower than the rate seen in the same period last year. This means that the domestic consumption demand has yet to be improved as the locals have curbed their spending habits and are focused on buying or using only essential goods and services.
Many enterprises in the retail sector, meanwhile, continued to restrict their business expansion programmes as they continued to encounter obstacles including capital shortages, a high volume of stockpiled goods and the increasing prices of raw materials, Ha stated.
The trade sector, which accounted for nearly 80 per cent of total revenues, rose 9.6 per cent over last year's corresponding period.
In the January-February period, the foreign-invested sector experienced the highest revenue growth at 11.4 per cent, reaching $19.63 billion, while the State-owned sector recorded a modest rise of 7 per cent at only $2.11 billion.
The country's retail sector, with a boost from foreign retail distributors, has initially proven it has changed for the better.
At present, there are 650 supermarkets in 59 of the 63 provinces and cities across the country and 117 shopping centres in 32 provinces and cities. — VNS