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Friday, January 21, 2022

Retail sales exceed US$210 billion in 2021

By Le Hoang

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HCMC – Vietnam’s total retail sales of consumer goods and services hit VND4,789.5 trillion (over US$210 billion) in 2021, falling 3.8% against 2020.

Data of the General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam showed that the total retail sales of consumer goods alone reached VND3,950.9 trillion (US$173.28 billion) in 2021, rising 0.2% year-on-year.

The total retail sales of consumer goods and services in the fourth quarter of 2021 amounted to VND1,312.6 trillion, surging 28.1% against the previous quarter but dropping 2.8% year-on-year.

This is a better result than expected amid the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the peak months of the fourth Covid-19 wave, which began in late April, many businesses suspended operations, while wet markets were forced to close down and consumers tightened their belts.

Nearly 120,000 businesses withdrew from the market, while millions of workers lost their jobs or were faced with reduced income or working hours, the tourism industry lost millions of tourists and many households had to cut their spending. Given this context, the total retail sales of consumer goods and services exceeding US$210 billion have beaten expectations.

However, economic expert Le Dang Doanh said the prices of goods have risen drastically due to the surging production cost. Therefore, these impressive figures can be attributed to the soaring prices, not the higher purchasing power.

The booming of e-commerce is also one of the factors that help prevent retail sales from falling sharply. While most wet markets and stores were forced to shut down during the social distancing period, many people turned to online shopping, which helped them restrict direct contacts.

With a population of nearly 100 million, increasing income and stable economic development, Vietnam is an emerging retail market, attracting many foreign retailers.

Three months after most economic activities were resumed, trade and production in HCMC and other southern cities and provinces recovered strongly.

According to Bui Ta Hoang Vu, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, the city’s total retail sales of consumer goods and services increased from VND43 trillion in October to VND55 trillion in November and more than VND66 trillion in December.

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