Vietnam defies Asia slowdown as GDP growth holds above 6pc
HANOI, Dec 28 ― Vietnam’s economy expanded more than 6 per cent for a second year, defying a regional slowdown to remain one of the world’s best performers as manufacturing rose.
Gross domestic product increased 6.68 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, up from 6.56 per cent in the previous three months, the General Statistics Office said in Hanoi Wednesday The economy grew 6.21 per cent in 2016, compared with the median estimate of 6.3 per cent in a Bloomberg survey
Vietnam ranks among the world’s fastest-growing economies as its exports remained resilient to a global trade slowdown that’s hurting Singapore and China. Companies setting up plants in the country, such as Samsung Electronics Co., are transforming the nation into a manufacturing hub for electronics goods, including smartphones. The Asian Development Bank forecast Vietnam’s economic growth at 6.3 per cent in 2017.
“Vietnam is in a sweet spot right now,” said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. “Strong growth will persist in the next several years. It is continuing to gain market share in exports and even giving China a run for competitiveness. Foreign companies continue to invest in Vietnam to take advantage of its highly competitive labor and low cost. The outlook is bright and it is one of the standout economies in Asia.”
Manufacturing gained 13.61 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, fastest pace this year, Ha Quang Tuyen, head of GDP department at the GSO, said at a briefing today. Exports rose 8.6 per cent in 2016, imports gained 4.6 per cent, according to GSO Vietnam posted a trade deficit of US$300 million (RM1.3 billion) in December. It had a trade surplus of US$2.68 billion for 2016 Retail sales rose 10.2 per cent in 2016 Disbursed foreign direct investment climbed 9 per cent to a record US$15.8 billion this year. Pledged FDI increased 7.1 per cent. ― Bloomberg