Growth down a touch in first quarter of 2016-2020 socioeconomic period.
Vietnam’s GDP growth reached 5.46 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, less than the 6.12 per cent recorded in the first quarter of last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
“There were signs of GDP stagnating, though this quarter was the first in implementing the socioeconomic development plan for 2016-2020,” said Mr. Nguyen Bich Lam, GSO General Director.
The value of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors was only equivalent to 98.77 per cent of the figure from a year earlier and the lowest growth in recent years, shaving 2.69 per cent off the sector’s growth.
Rice output in the Mekong Delta - the country’s rice basket - fell by an estimated 6.2 per cent (or about 700,000 tons) quarter-on-quarter, while the winter crop yield in the north was also low.
The value of the industrial and construction sectors rose only 6.72 per cent compared to 8.74 per cent in the first quarter of 2015. The industrial sector rose 6.2 per cent; far less than the rate of 9.27 per cent in the first quarter of 2015. Construction, meanwhile, rose an impressive 9.94 per cent; the highest in recent years.
Partly affected by global economic difficulties, exports grew at a slow 4.1 per cent, Mr. Lam said, adding that shipments of crude oil - a major hard currency earner - nosedived 52.8 per cent during the three-month period.
Highlights included an increase of 6.13 per cent in services; the highest since the first quarter of 2012.
The CPI in March rose 0.57 per cent month-on-month and 1.69 per cent year-on-year, bringing the first quarter figure to 1.25 per cent.
Drought, saltwater intrusion and unpredictable weather changes will pose major challenges to Vietnam’s economy throughout the remainder of 2016.