Vietnam's total value of retail sales for goods and services in 2014 increased approximately by 10.6 percent when compared to last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Currently, this value is 2,945.2 trillion VND (138.372 billion USD). If the inflation is excluded, then the value rose by 6.3 percent, higher than the 5.5 percent rate recorded last year.

The GSO said that the low consumer price index this year indicated cheaper prices for several essential products and intensified retail promotional programmes of the supermarkets. These factors encouraged consumption.

In addition, the rising shopping demand during the year-end months and approaching the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday also led to an increase in people's purchasing power.

The office also revealed that the value reached 273.3 trillion VND (12.83 billion USD), which is up by 2.6 percent month-on-month and up 8.6 percent year-on-year increase in December alone.

Tourism accounted for 381.8 trillion VND (17.924 billion USD), which is up by eight percent against 2013 data, in this year's total retail sales value.

A number of industries, such as cultural and educational products (up by 33.2 percent) and transport means (up by 27.9 percent), saw a high rise in retail sales value this year.

The GSO also reported that the retail sales value of the goods and services of foreign invested firms in the year surged by 16.9 percent and reached 97.8 trillion VND (4.591 billion USD). Private firms saw a rise of 10.5 percent with 2,547.7 trillion VND (119.61 billion USD), while the state-owned firms experienced a 9.6 percent increase with 299.7 trillion VND (14.07 billion USD).

However, experts revealed that this year's increase in purchasing power remains below expectations as the rate only reached half the value attained in 2010.

They explained that the supply exceeded the demand, but incomes have not improved much. In addition, businesses still faced numerous difficulties.-VNA