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Viet Nam forecasts yearly GDP growth at over 7.2 percent

The gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of the year is expected to grow by 7.5 percent, sparking hopes for a growth rate of 7.2 percent for the whole year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Statistics released by the office at a press briefing on Wednesday showed an increase of 7.1 percent in the GDP in the last nine months. The office attributed the success to the dramatic growth of industrial production and construction, which, it said, has made up the slight losses suffered in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and services.

The office predicted an industrial growth of 15.8 percent this year. Many other sectors, including trade, tourism, transport, post and telecommunication, and services, expect a higher growth rate in this quarter as compared with the previous nine months. Development investments are likely to rise by 18.3 percent this year. Although imports-exports may go into a stall in the next three months, the sector will still enjoy growth rates of over 16 percent in export revenue and over 20 percent in imports for the whole year.

Challenges however are still ahead, said the GSO. It cited industrial production's high dependence on material and equipment imports as well as large intermediate spendings.

An increase of 10 percent in import revenues in the previous nine months will raise production costs in the next months, thus causing adverse impact on GDP growth, the GSO told reporters.

Ineffective use of the State funds as well as losses and bad debts in construction projects are other major problems for national economic growth, the GSO concluded.

Vietnam Agency - (06/10/2003)

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