According to the Statistics Office of Ho Chi Minh City, January is the month before Lunar New Year, so the demand for shopping tends to increase. The total retail sales of goods and consumer service revenue in January reached VND 103,241 billion, an increase of 1.1% compared to the previous month and an increase of 24.4% compared to the same period last year.
The increase from the previous month is mainly due to the retail sales of goods as this is the busiest business period of the year. Many supermarkets and stores are implementing promotion programs to stimulate consumer demand.
ENSURING GOODS, TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE DURING TET
At the meeting on the economic and social situation of Ho Chi Minh City in January and the implementation of tasks in February, held on February 1st, Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City, said that goods serving Tet have been gradually increasing in wholesale markets. Currently, the daily supply of goods to the 3 main wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City is about 11,000 tons, and e-commerce platforms and online sales are also growing strongly.
In February 2024, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee will focus on implementing activities to stimulate consumer demand, stabilize the market, and develop tourism at the end of the year. It will also continue to prepare Tet goods according to the plan, scenarios set out; and monitor and evaluate the supply and demand of goods, especially for rice, livestock meat, poultry eggs, vegetables, fruits, and other goods with a sudden increase in demand during Tet.
At the same time, proactively develop plans or submit proposals to relevant agencies to ensure the balance of supply and demand, stabilize the market, and prevent shortages and disruptions in the supply of goods, leading to a sudden increase in prices during the Lunar New Year.
Regarding the information on the care activities during the Year of the Cat 2024, Mr. Le Van Thinh, Director of the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said that this year Ho Chi Minh City will take care of about 625,442 people with a budget of 1,102 billion VND, of which the city’s budget is 915 billion VND.
In addition, at all levels, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Trade Unions, Youth Unions, and localities are also involved in taking care of people with a budget of over 200 billion VND. Alongside that, there are also activities to take care of workers and employees. The new point of the care activities this year is that the city will also take care of 3,089 children and elderly people in difficult circumstances.
The Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs will also proactively advise the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to direct the implementation of solutions to enhance the stability of labor relations in the area. The department surveyed 1,300 businesses and found that the average Tet bonus in 2024 is 12.3 million VND per person. In addition to the Tet bonus, businesses also give gifts, shopping vouchers, and arrange transportation to take workers back to their hometowns for Tet and visit workers in difficult circumstances.
TOURISM REVENUE INCREASES BY 57% COMPARED TO THE SAME PERIOD
The good news for Ho Chi Minh City is that the tourism industry is recovering. According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, the city’s tourism industry recorded positive indicators in the first month of the year. The number of international and domestic tourists and the total revenue of the industry increased.
Specifically, the total revenue of the tourism industry reached nearly 13,000 billion VND, an increase of 57% compared to the same period and equal to 20% of the country’s revenue. These figures are calculated based on the results of surveys on the length of stay and expenditures of tourists.
Based on surveys of accommodation establishments, the Department of Tourism of Ho Chi Minh City has observed positive signals, as revenue during the peak Tet period continues to increase. However, the indicators of the tourism industry in the first quarter of 2024 and subsequent months may not increase as much as in January.
Explaining the reasons, according to Ms. Hoa, the sales volume at hotels mainly comes from year-end conferences, and the expenses of businesses tend to decrease compared to previous years. At the same time, the impact of the economy and the handling of alcohol-related violations also somewhat affect spending on food services, restaurants, and hotels.
Based on tourist expenditures and length of stay, the Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism said that the figures have increased compared to the pre-COVID-19 period (in 2019). Specifically, foreign tourists stayed an average of 4.8 days in Ho Chi Minh City (compared to 4.3 days in 2019).
In addition, out of the total number of tourists visiting Ho Chi Minh City, 55% are first-time visitors, 25% will return for a second visit, and about 19% will return for a third visit.
In terms of spending, international tourists in Ho Chi Minh City spend about 4.7 million VND per day (compared to 3.89 million VND in 2019); domestic tourists spend about 2.08 million VND per day (compared to about 1.7 million VND in 2019).
However, although the tourism industry still shows good growth signals, the Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism said that in the coming time, flexible and appropriate solutions are needed to stimulate demand and prevent sideways movement.
Regarding food safety during the Lunar New Year, Ms. Pham Khanh Phong Lan, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Food Safety Department, said that the department has established 11 specialized inspection teams and coordinated with interdisciplinary inspection teams of districts and communes focusing on frequently consumed products during Tet, as well as preparing to respond to possible issues that may occur during festivals to ensure that people are safe when using food.
In addition, Ms. Lan said that a worrisome situation currently is the illegal trading of food on sidewalks and roadside stalls, which can lead to major risks. Therefore, comprehensive and root-based solutions are required. In addition to the efforts of the authorities, the awareness and consensus of the people are needed to support legal and safe food products and maintain food safety and health.
According to Ms. Lan, since the city is hosting many festivals, the department will also strengthen measures to ensure that all festivals are checked for origin, legal status, and the source of food to ensure safety.
According to the Statistics Office of Ho Chi Minh City, the overall industrial production index (IIP) in January 2024 is estimated to decrease by 4.5% compared to the previous month and increase by 26.9% compared to the same period last year, as January last year was the Lunar New Year month.
Regarding the establishment of businesses, from January 1st to January 20th, Ho Chi Minh City granted licenses to 3,303 businesses with a registered capital of VND 39,020 billion, an increase of 30.2% in terms of licenses and an increase of 117.2% in terms of capital compared to the same period. Among them, 9 main service sectors had 2,465 businesses with a registered capital of VND 32,857 billion, an increase of 29.9% in terms of licenses and an increase of 154.9% in terms of capital compared to the same period.