The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revised its 2009 GDP growth forecast for Vietnam to 4.7 percent, up from 4.5 percent, while keeping its projection for 2010 unchanged, at 6.5 percent.
ADB Country Director for Vietnam, Ayumi Konishi, (L, second) speaks at the Asian Development Outlook Update 2009 in Hanoi on Sep 22. The bank's forecast of 2009 GDP growth for Vietnam is increased by 0.2 percent to 4.7 percent. (Photo: QDND)
The country’s GDP growth in the second half of this year is expected to reach 5.4 percent; the 2009 average inflation rate is projected at 6.8 percent, higher than the March forecast, due to an unexpected increase in world goods’ prices.
The projections were presented at the Asian Development Outlook Update 2009 in Hanoi on September 22.
The Vietnamese economy has responded relatively well to the global economic crisis, the ADB said in the report.
Despite the impacts of adverse conditions from outside, Vietnam’s economy has maintained its growth in 2009 owning to the Government’s expanded monetary and fiscal policies that have helped boost public consumption and domestic financial investment, the report said.
The economic slowdown in Vietnam seems to have bottomed out early this year and the country’s GDP has increased again since the first quarter, ADB said.
Vietnam’s imports were 34.1 percent less than exports, and net exports supported its GDP growth, the bank said.
Seafood, coffee, crude oil and woodwork exports fell by more than ten percent due to declining external demand, but the reduction was partly made up for by an increase in rice exports and re-exports of gold, it added.
Inflation sharply dropped to 8.3 percent between January and August 2009 from the 23 percent average of 2008, owning to a decline in prices of basic goods in the world market and a relative low economic growth.
In August 2009, the inflation rate was just two percent compared to the 28.3 percent a year ago, the bank said.
“We congratulate the Vietnamese Government and people. We attribute our positive assessment to the efficiency of the swift and strong policy and measures taken by the Government in minimizing the negative impacts of the global economic downturn on Vietnam,” ADB Country Director for Vietnam, Ayumi Konishi, said.
However, the bank said, despite signs of economic recovery seen in some areas in the world economy, there remain growing concerns, particularly for Vietnam, including a possible return to high inflation due to higher global commodity prices and the rapid growth of the monetary supply.
“We highly appreciate that Vietnam's monetary agencies have begun taking measures to get inflation under control and to lower expectations of a devaluation,” Mr. Konishi said.
The bank recommended the country should keep a balance between the development backed by economic stimulus measures and the supervision of the macro-economic stability.
ADB hoped that the State Bank of Vietnam would begin tightening its monetary policy by the end of this year and then head toward a less tightened policy in 2010 to protect the value of the dong and ease the pressure of inflation.