Foreign tourists at Văn Miếu, Hà Nội.Tourism is one of the sectors suffering the most from the impacts of COVID-19. Photo toquoc.vn
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam witnessed its first reduction in retail sales for five years in March due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
In March, the total retail sales of consumer goods and services were estimated at VNĐ390 trillion (US$16.4 billion), down 4 per cent from the previous month and down 0.8 per cent over the same period last year.
The spread of the pandemic has made customers restrict shopping at traditional markets, trade centres and supermarkets, travel and eating out, leading to the drop in total retail sales.
Tourism revenue fell 44.7 per cent month on month and 62.3 per cent year on year to VNĐ1.3 trillion after suffering the most severe impacts of COVID-19.
Revenue from accommodation and catering services also dropped sharply by 26.8 per cent year on year to VNĐ33.9 trillion.
Meanwhile, the retail sales of goods stood at VNĐ316.1 trillion, up 4.7 per cent year on year. The revenue of other services reached VNĐ38.7 trillion, down 6.5 per cent year on year.
In the first quarter of this year, Việt Nam still gained low growth of 4.7 per cent in total retail sales of goods and services compared with the same period last year to VNĐ1.25 quadrillion. Of which, retail sales of goods were estimated at VNĐ985.8 trillion, accounting for 79.1 per cent of the total. This figure was up by 7.7 per cent over the same period last year.
Especially, revenue increased by 9.3 per cent for food; 8.4 per cent for gasoline and oil; 7.7 per cent for the group of household appliances, tools and equipment; 6.6 per cent for garments; 5.4 per cent for vehicles; and 2 per cent for cultural and educational services.
The pandemic has helped online shopping develop while enough supplies of goods helped retail sales grow in the first quarter, the office said.
Some localities did report growth in the retail sales of goods during the first quarter, including Hải Phòng (11 per cent); Hà Nội (9.3 per cent); Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu (8.1 per cent); HCM City (8 per cent); Cần Thơ (7.3 per cent); and Thanh Hóa (6.9 per cent).
Meanwhile, tourism revenue in the first quarter was VNĐ7.8 trillion, down 27.8 per cent year on year, while this sector posted growth of 23.2 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2019.
The localities that saw strong drops in the tourism revenue in the first quarter included Thanh Hóa (49.9 per cent); Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu (48.3 per cent); Quảng Ninh (47.1 per cent); Khánh Hòa (43.9 per cent); HCM City (39.9 per cent); Bình Định (24.4 per cent); Đà Nẵng (19.5 per cent); Hà Nội (18.7 per cent); and Hải Phòng (14.9 per cent). VNS