With the peak season of the Lunar New Year now over, the General Statistics Office of Vietnam has estimated that the total retail sales of goods and services in January were at VNĐ448.1 trillion – up 10.2 percent as compared to January 2019.
According to the authorities, the supply of goods was steady and diverse, the prices were stable and there was no shortage of pork at the run-up to Tết. The sales of supermarkets, traditional markets and convenience stories surged by 20 to 30 percent throughout the country, in comparison to normal months.
In Hồ Chi Minh City alone, the revenue from retail sales and services in January this year is estimated at VNĐ112.77 trillion, which represents an increase of 11.2 percent compared with the same period last year. According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, retail sales of goods accounted for two-thirds of the figure – a natural order of things with consumption demand typically spiking nationwide ahead of Tết festivities.
Interestingly enough, January was also a record-setting month in terms of the number of international visitors coming to Vietnam, in spite of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the neighbouring China. According to the General Statistics Office, 1.99 million foreigners arrived in Vietnam last month, the highest number on record. By far the greatest proportion of the lot were fellow Asians, at 77.4 percent, followed by tourists from North America and Europe.
And while Tết is a time when the entire country comes to a spectacular halt, there is still plenty of traffic in places traditionally linked with the Lunar New Year celebrations. The famous Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street in Hồ Chi Minh City, for instance, was visited by over one million people during the time it was open, between 22 and 28 January.