Customers shop at Aeon Mall Long Bien Trading Centre in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The total revenue from retail trade and services hit 89.6 billion USD during the first seven months of this year, up 9.4 percent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Excluding inflation, the increase would be 7.4 percent, lower than the 8.3 percent seen in the same period last year, GSO said.

The retail sales growth (inflation excluded) during the reviewed period was also lower than was recorded in January at 11 percent; the first quarter at 7.9 percent; the first four months at 8.3 percent and the first five months at 7.8 percent, GSO noted.

GSO statistician Vu Manh Ha blamed the period’s unsatisfactory growth for the sluggish retail sales of accommodation, catering, tourism and entertainment services, which reached 11 billion USD or a yearly growth of only 7.5 percent. Specifically, the remarkable revenue reductions were seen in some north central provinces due to influence of the mass fish deaths such as Nghe An and Ha Tinh with 17 percent and 26.2 percent, respectively.

In a brighter spot, retail sales of goods, which accounted for more than 76 percent of the total sales, reached 68.23 billion USD from January to July, surging 9.7 percent against last year’s corresponding period.

Retail revenue in some sectors saw large increases. Food and foodstuffs saw an increase of 12.9 percent, household appliances rose 10 percent, garments and textiles up 12 percent and transport services increased 8.5 percent.

Previously, GSO Director Nguyen Bich Lam said that purchasing power this year would likely have a lower growth rate than last year because of the stability in prices, high supply and stable demand for most essential goods.

Spending on some services, including accommodation, catering, tourism and entertainment, would not have as high a growth rate as it did previously, Lam said, because people were worried about food safety and environmental pollution affecting the quality of the food. They tended to eat mostly home-cooked meals now and control their spending on entertainment and tourism services to save money.-VNA