Vietnam GDP grows at 5.3%

Despite the global economic turmoil and some internal problems, Vietnam achieved GDP growth of 5.32 percent, the General Statistics Office reported December 31.

The global crisis saw its exports and foreign investment shrink, the report said.

Storms, floods, and epidemics affected many provinces and cities, acting as a drag on growth.

But Vietnam shrugged off the challenges to achieve a growth rate that was among the highest in the region as well as the world, according to the report.

A view of Big C Supermarket in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. In 2009 inflation was contained at 6.88 percent, or below the 7 percent limit set by the National Assembly, the General Statistics Office said (Photo: SGGP)

After a slowdown in the early part of the year, industrial production rebounded to post year-on-year growth of 7.6 percent.

The agricultural sector too posted growth, with rice output rising by 165,700 tons over last year to 38.9 million tons.

Macroeconomic conditions were generally stable during the year, the report said.

Foreign direct investment was sharply down but domestic investment rose, causing gross capital formation to shoot up by 15.3 percent from a year earlier to VND704.2 trillion (US$38.13 billion).

With budgetary revenues meeting the target, the budget deficit did not exceed 7 percent of GDP.

Inflation was in check, with the consumer price index up by 6.88 percent, lower than the 7-percent limit set by the National Assembly and the lowest in the last six years.

The poverty rate fell to 12.3 percent from 13.4 percent in 2008.

Encouraging results were also achieved in fields like healthcare, culture, and education.

But there were some weaknesses, Nguyen Duc Hoa, head of the General Statistics Office, said.

The growth in gross capital formation was “imbalanced,” he said, pointing out it was 41.3 percent of GDP in 2008 when the economy grew at 6.18 percent, and 42.8 percent this year when the GDP growth was 5.32 percent.

Besides, many economic sectors remained uncompetitive, he said.

There are many challenges ahead for the economy, he said, like the threat of renewed inflation.

But with the increasingly strong signals that the world economy is in recovery mode, businesses should step up domestic sales by expanding their distribution system as well as exports, he added.

By Mai An, Nhi Ha – Translated by Truc Thinh

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