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PM calls for thoughts on stabilising holiday market   2010-02-01 - VietNamNet/VNS

 Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to come up with specific measures in a bid to promote business and production, and stabilise the domestic market in service of the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

The measures should be reported back to the regular Government meeting this month.

PM Dung, in an instruction asked ministries and localities to review socio-economic development and provide solutions to enhance production and promote the economic growth. He also remined them to visit poor families, ensuring they have a decent Tet holiday.

According to the HCM City Industry and Trade Department, with the Lunar New Year approaching in February, purchasing demand had increased by 15 to 20 per cent against last December.

Sales are expected to increase 30 per cent against the same period last year.

It said purchasing power rose considerably from the beginning of the month, and would continue to peak in the next two weeks.

Statistics from the department showed that the city had gained the highest retail and services revenues in the country with over VND32 trillion (US$1.7 billion), an increase of 34.2 per cent over the same period last year.

It forecasts City’s consumer demand would rise in future. It added that 13 businesses had spent VND416 billion ($23.1 million) in subsidising prices, equal to 98 per cent of their target.

The remaining money will be spent on subsidising perishable goods such as vegetable and fruit prices from February. The firms will apply a sole price for essential goods from January 15 to March 15 and supply sufficient goods in case of major price fluctuations. They also announced that their goods will be set at 10 per cent lower than market prices, even if domestic market prices decrease.

Ha Noi’s market has seen a slight increase in prices. Deputy director of the municipal Industry and Trade Department Nguyen Thi Nhu Mai said that this year there would not be any sudden increases in prices even with the approaching Tet holiday.

"Increases will hover at between 5 to 10 per cent," she said. According to businesses, the prices of most goods this Tet will remain stable. Supermarkets and shopping centres have committed themselves to freezing their prices. Consumer demand has not strongly increased and retail outlets are amply supplied.

Prices are likely to increase towards the end of the week as people begin their holidays in the run-up to Tet. Experts forecast that consumer spending will rocket in the last days running up to the lunar year.

The consumer price index (CPI) for February will double due to the impact of the Tet holiday, rising 2.6 per cent, while the annual CPI will reach 7 per cent.

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