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VEPR: 2018 GDP growth target of 6.5-6.7% feasible

Released at: 14:42, 11/04/2018

VEPR: 2018 GDP growth target of 6.5-6.7% feasible

Photo: Ngoc Lan

Growth of 7.38% in first quarter augers well for annual figure, according to Vietnam Center for Economic and Policy Research.

by Ngoc Lan

With sharp growth of 7.38 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, the target of 6.5-6.7 per cent growth for 2018 set by the National Assembly is feasible given that favorable conditions are likely to be maintained, according to a report released by the Vietnam Center for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) on April 10.

VEPR Director Mr. Nguyen Duc Thanh told a press conference that Vietnam’s economy saw the highest increase for the past ten years in the first quarter, at 7.38 per cent. “It seems that positive momentum from the last two quarters of 2017 contributed to this impressive increase,” he explained.

The report noted that the service sector grew 6.7 per cent year-on-year; the highest increase in recent years. Sectors that contributed the most to overall growth included wholesale and retail trade, up 7.45 per cent year-on-year, hotels and tourism, up 7.6 per cent, banking, finance and insurance, up 7.72 per cent, and real estate business, up 3.56 per cent.

The first quarter also marked a strong recovery in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector, which grew 4.05 per cent after years of growth of less than 3 per cent and even negative growth in 2016, of -1.23 per cent.

The industry and construction sector saw remarkable growth of 9.7 per cent, much higher than in the same period last year. “Manufacturing continued to be the main driver of this sector, with a very high growth rate of 13.56 per cent,” Mr. Thanh said. “Samsung Vietnam continues to contribute the most to growth in manufacturing.”

It will not be easy to reach the 6.7 per cent target for the year as a whole, however. Experts at the press conference said that in the context of the ongoing trade war and protectionism around the world, the future of Vietnam’s economy remains uncertain due to the possibility of external shocks.

In order to keep inflation at under 4 per cent, VEPR representatives said that efforts must be made at all levels and, in particular, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) must adopt tight monetary policy.

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