VN’s economy obtains positive results in Q1
15:35 | 01/04/2012

VGP – Việt Nam is among the brightest emerging markets in Southeast Asia. Amidst the financial crunch, its economy remained sturdy with some growth in the first quarter of 2012.

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It is estimated that the country's economic growth in Q1 2012 reached about 4%, still lower than the same period last year, of which, industry sector posted a slow growth, especially processing industry.

Việt Nam's exports in Q1 2012 increased over 23.6% over the same period last year, reaching nearly US $25 billion while the trade deficit was curbed at about US $251 million, equalling to more than 1% of the total export turnover.

The average monthly export value the country earned in Q1 reached US $8.174 billion, a year-on-year increase of US $1.567 billion and up US $99 million against last year.

Positive signs in the monthly export value showed: turnover of February rose 17.4% over January and that of March was up 10.2% from February. Export turnover of March was higher than the expected average monthly figure set for 2012 (US $9.125 billion).

Export of some items doubled, such as electronics, computers and spare parts, machines, equipments and other accessories with 1.5 fold rise, wood and wooden products, up 18.3%, garment, up 15.4%, footwear, up 14%, seafood, up 11.7%, crude oil, up 9.1% and gemstone, up 106.7%. 

Meanwhile, import turnover slowed down, from 24.4% in February to 8.4% in March. Import of cotton reduced 36.6%, car, down 32.4%, oil and gas, down 20% and motorbike, down 9.3%.

It resulted in a trade deficit of US $251 million, much less than the US $3.334 billion figure of the same period last year. The reduction in trade imbalances contributed to improving the balance of payment and increasing foreign reserves.

Disbursed foreign direct investment (FDI) in Việt Nam in the first three months of 2012 stood at US $2.52 billion, a decrease of 0.8% compared with the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

In March, more than US $1.5 billion was disbursed, which was remarkable in comparison with the previous months (US $400 million in January and US $600 million in February).

As of March 20, the new 120 FDI project have been registered in the period totaling US $2.26 billion, down 22.8 % from the same period last year.

Until now, 29 projects have submitted requests for investment capital rise of US $368 million, equal to 30.4% of the same period last year.

In total, new and increased capital in the first quarter of this year reached US $2.63 billion, accounting for 63.6% of the sum recorded in the same period last year.

In the processing and manufacturing industry, 51 projects were newly registered and 25 projects saw investment capital increase, with a total sum of more than US $1.17 billion, accounting for 44.6% of the total registered capital.

The logistics sector ranks third with total capital of US $180 million, accounting for 6.8%.

In the period, Japan ranks first among 26 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam with total investment of US $2.3 billion, accounting for 88.8%.

Regarding the economic situation, some people said that Việt Nam is moving from passive inflation to controlling inflation actively. The country’s consumer price index (CPI) in March rose only 0.16%, marking the lowest in recent two years and up 2.55% for the first three months of this year.
The exchange rate between VND and US $ in January slightly rose (up 0.05%), in February down 0.41% and March down 0.99%.

This year’s surge in Việt Nam’s stock market has coincided with eased inflation as more economists and analysts are telling investors to expect rising corporate profits later this year.  Positive signs for business also include a temporary freeze on electricity rates, improved credit markets, and foreign capital inflows.

Việt Nam reported its cost of living increased 0.16% in March, the lowest month-to-month rise in nearly two years.  

Meanwhile, despite a sharp pullback in stock prices early this week, several securities companies remain bullish, predicting a further increase in the VN-Index that has already risen about 30% so far in 2012.  Last week the VN-Index gained nearly 4%, led by natural resource companies and financials, and foreign investors continued to be net buyers, especially of bank stocks.

By Thùy Dung

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