National retail sales were valued at around 176.4 trillion VND (8.4 billion USD) last month, an increase of 1 percent, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Along with this figure, retail value over the past 11 months totalled 1.810 trillion VND (86.4 billion USD), a year-on-year surge of 23.5 percent, the GSO said.

"Growth in the last two months outstripped achievements made between the start of the year and September," said Vu Manh Ha, a GSO economic expert.

During this period, consumers spent increased amounts of money in preparation for Tet and Christmas, he added, noting that the slow increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had also upped consumption.

During the past 11 months, trade activities contributed 78.8 percent to the total retail value, a rise of 26.3 percent against the same period last year.

Retail value gained from the hotel and restaurant sectors accounted for 11 percent, a rise of 26.3 percent. Service value made up 9 percent of the total figure, a year-on-year surge of 11.7 percent.

Retail sales by State-owned enterprises during this period rose strongly on the increase of product volumes as part of the price stabilisation programme.

However, the number of retail shops decreased, contributing only 10.9 percent to the total national figure.

With the development of the distribution system, private companies contributed 34.9 percent to the national total while foreign invested companies managed to make only a 2.8 percent addition./.