13:00 | 22/04/2020 Society
(VEN) - While trade and service activity declined in the first three months of 2020 due to Covid-19, retail sales of goods was estimated VND985 trillion, a 7.7 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office. In addition, total retail sales of consumer goods and services in the first quarter of 2020 reached VND1,246 trillion, up 4.7 percent over the same period last year.
In terms of industries, telecommunications played a key role in the aforementioned increase of 7.7 percent. Specifically, in the first quarter, revenues of this industry reached VND98.1 trillion, up 5.8 percent over the same period last year. Untill the end of March 2020, the total number of telephone subscribers, including fixed line and mobile subscribers, was estimated at 129.2 million, down six percent over the same period last year. The total number of mobile subscribers was estimated at 125.5 million, down 5.9 percent, and the total number of internet access subscribers with fixed broadband was estimated at 15.2 million, up 13 percent.
In the transportation industry, 435.6 million tonnes of goods were transported, up 1.1 percent compared to the same period last year, and 84.4 billion tonnes of goods were handled, up 0.1 percent over the same time in 2019.
Bui Trong Tu, Deputy Director General of the Department of Trade Statistics and Services under the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, said consumers have restricted shopping in public places, traveling and eating out, leading in negative effects on many fields and industries such as tourism, logistics, restaurants and accommodations. For example, accommodation and food services revenues were estimated at VND126 trillion, down 9.6 percent. Tourism revenues were estimated at VND7.8 trillion, down 27.8 percent while other services brought in about VND126.3 trillion, up 1.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Passenger transportation was also directly affected by Covid-19. Specifically, in the first quarter of 2020, the number of passengers transported was 1.19 billion, down 6.1 percent compared to the same period last year and the number of passengers rotated reached 55.9 billion, down eight percent. The number of international visitors in the first three months reached about 3.7 million, down 18.1 percent compared to the same period in 2019. Similar declines were recorded in most markets, with particular focus on large markets such as China, the Republic of Korea and the US.
According to Bui Trong Tu, in order to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, business and service facilities need to be proactive and continue to promote business through e-commerce in order to limit gatherings. “When the pandemic is over, the government should have policies to support businesses such as loan support and temporary tax reductions so that businesses can recover their economic strength,” Tu advised.