Customers shop at Saigon Co.op Mart. Vietnam's retail sales of goods and services rose 9.5 percent this year, the largest increase since 2011. (Photo: thesaigontimes.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam's retail sales of goods and services rose 9.5 percent this year, the largest increase since 2011, as low inflation and strong economic growth bolstered consumer confidence, data from the General Statistics Office (GSO) revealed.

Sales were estimated at 3,242 trillion VND (148 billion USD), GSO said. Vu Manh Ha, domestic trade economist of the GSO, attributed the significant rise in 2015 to the country's 0.63-percent CPI year-on-year rise, the lowest increase in the past 14 years.

Ha said the low CPI increase meant stable prices for several essential products, adding that manufacturers and suppliers could sell their products without raising prices, which encouraged consumption.

Retail sales growth was also triggered by the increasing number of newly-opened supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the countries, enhancing competition among product suppliers, Ha said.

The government said on December 26 that Vietnam's gross domestic product grew 7 percent in the forth quarter and 6.7 percent in 2015, the biggest expansion in five years.

According to GSO, retail sales of goods, which account for 76 percent of the total sales, reached 2,470 trillion VND (112 billion USD), up 11 percent from last year.

Revenue in some sectors saw a handsome increase. Food and foodstuffs saw an increase of 15 percent, household appliances rose 15 percent, garments and textiles up 13 percent and transport services are estimated to increase 10 percent.

Retail sales of accommodation, restaurant and catering services reached 372.2 trillion VND (17 billion USD), accounting for 12 percent of the total revenue, posting a 5.2 percent year-on-year increase.-VNA