2012 economy grows by 5.03 percent

Vietnam recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 5.03 percent in 2012, announced the General Statistics Office (GSO) in a press briefing in Hanoi on December 24.

With a year-on-year increase of 2.72 percent, the agro-forestry and fishery sector contributed 0.44 percent point to the combined rise. Meanwhile, the industry and construction sector added 1.89 percent point, and the service sector 2.7 percent point.

The country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 6.81 percent from a year ago, meeting the Government’s target of controlling inflation rate at a single-digit level this year, the GSO reported.

The rate was much lower than 2011’s figure of 18.13 percent. However, the average CPI for this year was up 9.21 percent over the average index of 2011, according to the office.
December’s CPI increased 0.27 percent month-on-month, although prices of garment and footwear products went up a significant 1.17 percent due to rising demand ahead of the New Year holidays.

Many groups of goods experienced insignificant price increase in December, including medicine and healthcare services, up 0.14 percent, and education, up 0.09 percent.

The Director of the GSO’s Integrated Statistics Department, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Van, said that the low CPI increase of 6.81 percent was attributed to the Government’s efforts to strengthen price administration and stabilisation.

Domestic market prices increased only a moderate 1-1.37 percent in the first two months, compared to over 2 percent recorded during this period of previous years due to surging Lunar New Year demand.

Price increases reached peak in September, at 2.2 percent, due to global economic declines, causing slumping domestic demand and increasing inventories, low credit growth, high bad debt ratios and a frozen property market, Van said.

For the whole year, prices of educational goods and services posted the sharpest increase, at over 17 percent, closely followed by medicine and healthcare services, at 16.34 percent.

Gold prices in December increased 7.83 percent year-on-year, while US dollar prices have witnessed the most stable year ever, increasing only 0.18 percent in 2012, according to the GSO.

This year, total development investment capital disbursement was estimated at VND989.3 trillion (or around US$47.6 billion), representing a 7 percent rise against last year. The figure was equivalent to 33.5 percent of GDP (at current prices), which reflected the lowest ratio since 2000.

The country made a trade surplus of US$284 million this year after 20 years of facing a deficit, according to the GSO.

Export turnover for the year totalled US$114.631 billion, an increase of 18.3 percent over last year while import revenue reached US$114.347 billion, representing a rise of 7.1 percent.

The previous trade surplus recorded was in 1992 at US$100 million.

In 2013, the country will face a number of difficulties originating from the current difficult situation of both domestic and international economics, said the GSO and the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Accordingly, ministries and relevant agencies need to effectively implement the measures introduced by the government, focusing on fiscal and monetary policies, business operation, economic restructure, and growth model renovation.

VNA/VOV online