A customer shops at a Big C Supermarket in HCM City (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The total national retail value of goods and services in August reached nearly 292.8 trillion VND (13 billion USD), with purchasing power declining 0.3 percent against July.

This was reported by the General Statistics Office (GSO).

GSO expert Vu Manh Ha said the decrease in purchasing power in August was unusual when compared with the previous years. Ha attributed the decrease to the busy month, when school supplies were bought for the new school year, along with the heavy rainfall and the storms, due to which locals were forced to purchase more home appliances and construction material to repair their homes.

In addition, the inclement weather also hit travel and tourism activities. The total revenue from transportation and restaurant service sales declined to between 4 and 5.4 percent.

Ha also attributed the decrease in purchasing power to the "wandering ghost month" in Vietnam. The Vietnamese widely believe that July is the month when ghosts roam and create trouble for the people.

The decrease in August lowered the total national retail value of goods and services compared with the same period last year – an increase of 9.3 percent compared with the increase of 10.5 percent in August 2015.

The increase is estimated at 7.3 percent if the price factor is excluded, lower than the 9.2 percent growth in the first eight months of 2015.

The revenue from retail goods, which accounts for three-quarters of the total revenue, hit 78.2 billion USD, up 9.7 percent.

Food and foodstuff retail increased 14 percent, garment retail was up 11.9 percent, home appliances increased 11.1 percent and transportation services were up 7.5 percent. The retail of cultural and educational products saw the lowest growth at 3.5 percent.

The total revenue from accommodation and restaurant service sales, which account for 11.4 percent of the total revenue of 11.72 billion USD, witnessed the lowest increase at 6.8 percent.

Localities which witnessed low growth included Hanoi (4.7 percent), HCM City (5.3 percent), Thai Nguyen (4.9 percent), Thai Binh (0.4 percent) and Hung Yen (0.5 percent).-VNA