Ho Chi Minh City authorities have reported initial achievements in the new year with significant growth rates from the business and service sectors in the first month of 2014.

The city attained industrial production growth rate of 1.4 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment Thai Van Re.

It included a 25.5 percent growth of the mechanics sector, a 3.8 percent growth of the food processing industry and 0.6 percent growth of the chemicals, pharmaceutical and rubber sector.

Businesses in the city have provided sufficient goods for the Tet markets, with reserves of goods valued at 7.58 trillion VND (nearly 360 million USD), a year-on-year increase of 40.5 percent.

Companies under the city's price stabilisation programme have supplied higher volumes of goods for the markets during Tet, up by 69.4 percent compared with the same period in 2013, with several kinds of goods meeting 30-60 percent of the demand in the city and neighbouring provinces.

Total retail sales and service turnover in January were estimated at 59.5 trillion VND, a 6.7 percent increase compared with December 2013 and an increase of 18.2 percent compared with the same period last year.

Re said the January CPI rose by 0.4 percent compared with December and by 0.44 percent over the same period of 2013.

Prices of eight groups of goods increased slightly in January, with fees for accommodations, electricity, water and fuels, construction materials and transport services fees rising the most.

Those of food rose by 0.33 percent and foodstuffs by 0.19 percent; while medical service costs and pharmaceutical prices fell slightly.

January's exports estimated at nearly 2.4 billion USD, down by 2.1 percent over December and 10.3 percent compared with the same period of 2013. Major decreases were reported for crude oil and coffee, computers and electronic components, footwear and garments.

City authorities granted licences to 1,415 local businesses with total registered capital of over 7.1 trillion VND, an increase of 11 percent in the number of licences and 54 percent in registered capital.

Re said in February the city authorities would focus on inspection and management of prices of goods under the price stabilisation programme, and at the same time to boost trade promotion programmes in the local market and provide goods to the Tet market.

The city will also create favourable conditions to help local enterprises to boost production, promote business and expand overseas markets for their goods and products.-VNA