Residents' purchasing power tends to rise slightly and is reflected in a month-on-month increase of 0.6 percent of the total retail sales value of goods and services, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

In the first five months of this year, the total value reached 952.16 trillion VND (45.34 billion USD), up 20.8 per cent from the same period last year.

Of which, the increase mainly stemmed from the higher turnover of industrial goods, a 732.66 trillion (34.88 billion USD), a year-on-year rise of 19.5 percent, as it accounted for 77 percent out of the total retail sales value of goods and services.

Next, the revenue from hotels and restaurants rose 18.6 percent to 108.12 trillion VND (5.14 billion USD). Value from other services hit 101.91 trillion VND (4.85 billion USD), representing a high growth at 34.2 per cent.

Vu Manh Ha, an economist from the GSO, attributed the increase of the total retail sales value of goods and services to the fact that the consumer price index (CPI) had been curbed to maintain a slow growth at 0.05 percent in April and 0.18 percent in May.

This helped raise the goods consumption by 3.5 percent in May. Of which, sugarcane consumption increased strongly by 44 percent; processing vegetables and fruits up 36.1 percent; milk and butter up 23.6 percent; bricks up 20.8 percent; motor vehicles up 34.6 percent.

Thus, this has assisted in maintaining a decreased rate at 29.4 percent of the manufacturing goods inventories in May in comparison with the strong reduction at 32.1 percent in April and 34 percent in March.

"The rising rate of the total retail sales value of goods and services is still low, only equal to a half of the increasing of past time and thus we hope that the State will issue policies and methods to ignite consumption," he said.-VNA