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Vietnam retail sales outpace economy   2009-05-28 - SGTT

Retail sales rose 352 percent in the ten years since 1997, while gross domestic product (GDP) increased by only 264.77 percent, according to the General Statistics Office.


The difference in the growth rates shows that the domestic market significantly contributed to the economic growth.

Even during the Southeast Asian financial crisis of 1997, retail sales remained on an upward trend.

It rose 5.7 percent in 1998 and 4.1 percent in 1999 against a GDP rise of 5.8 percent and 4.8 percent.

Retail sales between 2001 and 2005 rose by an average of 10.3 percent a year, far in excess of GDP growth which averaged a mere 7.5 percent in the period.

In 2006 and 2007, retail sales surged by an average of 14.5 percent annually, double the GDP growth of 8.4 percent in the period.

In money terms, it rose from US$10.8 billion in 1997 to $45.7 billion in 2007.

Sales of consumer products increased from 81.4 percent of total retail sales in 1997 to 83.4 percent in 2000.

But by 2007 they had slumped to 77 percent, but remained at a hefty $35.2 billion as the size of the overall retail market had skyrocketed.

The Red River Delta, Mekong Delta and southeastern region accounted for 75.9 percent of the retail market.

By Nguyen Van Son*
 *Nguyen Van Son is an economist

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