This was reported by the General Statistics Office (GSO).
GSO expert Vu Manh Ha said the decrease in purchasing power in August was unusual when compared with the previous years. Hà attributed the decrease to the busy month, when school supplies were bought for the new school year, along with the heavy rainfall and the storms, due to which locals were forced to purchase more home appliances and construction material to repair their homes.
In addition, the inclement weather also hit travel and tourism activities. The total revenue from transportation and restaurant service sales declined to between 4 and 5.4%.
Ha also attributed the decrease in purchasing power to the "wandering ghost month" in Vietnam. The Vietnamese widely believe that July is the month when ghosts roam and create trouble for the people.
The decrease in August lowered the total national retail value of goods and services compared with the same period last year – an increase of 9.3% compared with the increase of 10.5% in August 2015.
The increase is estimated at 7.3% if the price factor is excluded, lower than the 9.2% growth in the first eight months of 2015.
The revenue from retail goods, which accounts for three-quarters of the total revenue, hit $78.2 billion, up 9.7%.
Food and foodstuff retail increased 14%, garment retail was up 11.9%, home appliances increased 11.1% and transportation services were up 7.5%. The retail of cultural and educational products saw the lowest growth at 3.5%.
The total revenue from accommodation and restaurant service sales, which account for 11.4% of the total revenue of $11.72 billion, witnessed the lowest increase at 6.8%.
Localities which witnessed low growth included Hanoi (4.7%), HCM City (5.3%), Thai Nguyen (4.9%), Thai Binh (0.4%) and Hung Yen (0.5%).
HCM City’s annual promotion ‘month’ set to begin
HCM City’s annual sales promotion “month” from August 30 until the end of the year is expected to boost retail sales and attract a large number of local and foreign visitors.
According to the Department of Industry and Trade, this year the event has attracted more than 2,300 businesses and 5,000 business households, 15% and 25% higher than last year.
There will be more than 7,000 establishments selling goods at a discount this year, besides offering freebies, compared to 6,200 last year.
They will sell among others consumer products, electronics, fashion, foodstuff, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, telecom services, interior decoration items, tourism services, hotels and others at discounts of 5-49%.
It begins with a “Promotional Month” fair at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in District 11 from August 30 to September 4, in which 300 businesses will take part.
Many other fairs intended to boost consumption will be held at many places across the city.
Supermarkets and traditional markets that took part in the promotion month last year reported an increase in sales of 3-20%.
Retailers, electronics stores and supermarkets have announced a slew of promotions in response to the city programme and to celebrate National Day (September 2).
Supermarket chain Big C is offering discounts of up to 49% on more than 1,600 products, including fresh and processed foods, spices, cosmetics, clothes, footwear, interior decoration items, and kitchen and bathroom accessories until September 5.
It has also set aside VND500 million (US$22,420) for a programme called “Loving Vietnam so much” to gift hats and T-shirts with the country’s red flag with yellow star to customers with Big C cards who buy for VND1 million (U$44.8) or more.
Saigon Co.op has tied up with 600 suppliers and spent VND200 billion ($8.96 million) on its “Proud of Vietnamese Goods 2016” promotion programme at its Co.opmart and Co.opXtra outlets, which offers discounts on thousands of local products between August 27 to September 18.
Lotte Mart has launched promotion programmes offering discounts of 5-49% on more than 1,000 items until August 6.
It has also lined up a “Meat Festival” with discounts of 10-30% on various kinds of local and imported meats.
Many other supermarkets and electronics shops like Nguyen Kim, Thien Hoa, and Cho Lon are offering attractive discounts.