Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) statistics show that the national economy has made substantial progress in the first seven months of this year, with major economic indexes on track.
In a report presented at the regular monthly Cabinet meeting in Hanoi on July 30, MPI Minister Bui Quang Vinh said inflation continued to be kept under control and the macro-economy was stabilised, thus facilitating business operations.
The seven-month price consumer index (CPI) rose 2.68% – a record low compared to the corresponding period between 2004 and 2011. Total export earnings hit US$72.74 billion, a year-on-year increase of 14.3%.
Industrial production bounced back, with its index (IIP) growing at 4.5% in the first quarter, 6% in the second quarter and 7% in July. The inventory index of the processing and manufacturing industries fell to 8.8% in July from 21.5% in January 2013.
The number of newly established businesses also increased by 4.8% in May, 7.6% in June and 8.4% in July compared to the corresponding months last year.
Vinh said a comparatively high increase in foreign investment and capital disbursement showed foreign investors’ trust in Vietnam’s economic stability.
Vietnam attracted US$11.91 billion in foreign investment in the past seven months, a year on year rise of 19.6%. Its disbursed capital also rose 6.4% to US$6.65 billion.
In seven months, retail and services revenue saw a year-on-year rise of 12%. Approximately 4.2 million foreign visitors arrived in Vietnam, up 5.9%.
Vietnam generated 849,600 jobs in the reviewed period, meeting 53% of the annual plan. Of the total, 47,100 people were sent abroad to work under labour contracts, fulfilling 55.4% of the yearly plan.
However, the MPI report pointed out difficulties and challenges the economy is facing in the remaining months of the year.
It said high inflation is likely to boomerang, businesses still find it difficult to access bank loans, and credit growth and consumer purchasing power remain low.
Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked ministries, agencies and localities to stick to targets and solutions adopted in early 2012, with priority given to stabilising the macro-economy and controlling inflation at 2012’s level of 6.8%.
He asked them to keep a close watch on market prices, apply market price mechanisms for electricity and petrol, and ensure the market law of supply and demand of essential commodities.
He assigned the State Bank of Vietnam to continue flexibly managing interest rates in line with reduced inflation, helping stabilise the monetary market and making it easier for businesses to take out bank loans for production.