The national total retail sales of goods and services last month reached nearly 150 trillion VND (7.1 billion USD), a year-on-year increase of 22.1 percent, the General Statistics Office reported.

The growth willbe 8.9 percent if the factor of rising prices were excluded, the office said.

Of this number, trade business gained 118.3 trillion VND (5.6 billion USD), surging by 23.1 percent over the same month last year, and retail sales of hotels and restaurants was up 17.6 percent to 16.4 trillion VND (781 million USD).

The service sector gained 13.6 trillion VND (647 million USD), a year-on-year rise of 19.6 percent. Revenue from the tourist sector was 1.5 trillion VND (71 million USD), up 14.5 percent against the same period last year.

Last year, the country's total retail sales of goods and services jumped 24.5 percent against the previous year to 1,561 trillion VND (80 billion USD).

The retail industry annually contributes more than 15 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and employs more than 5.4 million workers, representing over 10 percent of the total workforce.

Currently, modern retail chains currently account for 20 percent of distribution in the country. This level is low compared with regional countries.

However, experts have predicted this figure will grow to around 31.2 percent by 2015.
With a population of more than 80 million, Vietnam 's retail market remains very attractive to investors, especially those abroad. Retail therefore will provide one of the fastest growing and most inherently scalable investment areas in the country./.