The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) reported that the commodity market has returned to its normal status after the Lunar New Year Festival and festive season.

It said both price and consumption of food and household commodities have fallen sharply while demand for raw materials has recovered.

Total value of retail and services in March reached 211,301 billion VND, a 0.64 percent decrease over the previous month, pushing the first quarter’s total value to 636,161 billion USD, up 11.66 percent compared to the same period last year.

An increase of over 15 percent was seen in restaurants, hotels and services, while trade rose just 10.74 percent and tourism only 3.96 percent.

MoIT has worked closely with relevant agencies and localities to implement measures to balance demand and supply as well as stabilise the market and curb inflation.

Accordingly, the ministry has directed 44 localities, enterprises and corporations to step up programmes to stockpile goods.

Besides, Departments of Industry and Trade in localities have focused on ensuring supplies of goods to the market, promptly meeting public demand, encouraging distributors’ engagement in the programme “Vietnamese people prioritise Vietnamese goods”, contributing to bringing goods to rural, remote and border areas as well as islands.

According to the Department of Domestic Market under the MoIT, the domestic economy will continue to face challenges including slow consumption. At the same time, production will also see difficulties. Bright signals have yet to be seen in the property market, but prices of essential products have increased slightly, the department said.

It also forecast that in the next days, important commodities such as coal and electricity will continue to follow market price. In particular, demand for goods and services will surge in the coming Liberation and Labour Day holidays, which fall on April 30 and May 1.

However, due to stable prices of food and consumer goods, plus a steady exchange rate, the commodity market will experience fewer fluctuations, the department added.-VNA