The purchasing power of Vietnamese residents increased slightly in the first eight months of 2014, following an increase in the purchase of goods and services.

Officials of the General Statistics Office (GSO) attributed the slight increase to a 0.25 percent increase in the total retail sales value of goods and services in the first seven months of the year.

Figures from the GSO also showed that in the first eight months of 2014, total sales value reached 1,900 trillion VND (90.5 billion USD), representing an 11.4 percent year-on-year increase.

Retail sales accounted for more than 75 percent of sales value at 1,400 trillion VND (68.14 billion USD), a 10.7 percent year-on-year increase.

Revenue from hotels and restaurants made up 12 percent of total sales value and increased by 11.8 percent over that of the same period last year. Sales from other services made up 12 percent of total value, representing a 15 percent year-on-year increase.

Vu Manh Ha, a GSO economist, attributed the slight increase in sales to the surge in public demand during the seventh lunar month and just before the new school year, which begins in early September.

Sales of items on culture, education and worship increased by 45 percent while those of school uniforms and bags increased by 21 percent, food and foodstuffs by 13 percent and other commodities by 21 percent.

Ha said purchasing power in the first eight months had not yet exceeded the 7.2 percent increase seen in the January 2014, before the lunar new year.-VNA