Businesses face low purchasing power in HCMC

Recovery signs of the economy in the end of 2013 prompted several businesses to increase stock yet purchasing power has not recovered as expected.

Food divisions at several markets are in unsold condition despite of abundant supply (Photo: SGGP)

Several shops closed later and opened sooner than usual during the Tet holidays.  Many served until the afternoon on January 30 and reopened six days later.

Supermarkets and markets resumed operation as early as two days later.

Many companies launched promotional programs to stimulate commerce.  Electronic centers offered 30-40 percent discount on several products such as televisions, electric cookers and video recorders. Trade centers gave 5-49 percent discounts on hundreds of items.

Vissan Limited Company spent VND2.4 billion (US$114,000) to reduce Chinese sausage prices VND10,000 a kilogram, said the company’s director general Van Duc Muoi. That was one of their main products during the holidays.

The company also spent billions of VND on other items to boost purchasing, said Muoi.

Prices for chicken eggs in the city’s subsidization program were much lower than those sold in markets. It decreased VND 1,000-2,000 per pack of ten during the holidays yet failed to boost purchases, said Truong Chi Thien, director of Vinh Thanh Dat Company.
The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade reported 10-15 percent increases in commerce after the festivals. This is believed to be the lowest growth rate compared to the same period in previous years.

The income growth rate of Saigon Co.op supermarkets reached only 15 percent during the holidays, said Director General Nguyen Thi Hanh. This is a much lower increase than that of previous years.

Several businesses express their anxiety about the decrease of sales this year. They believe that consumption will not rise considerably.

The government will continue several measures to curb Consumer Price Index to 7 percent in 2014 and consumers have tightened spending and purchased in moderation.

By Thuy Hai – Translated by Hai Mien

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