Tue, May 22, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Vietnamese economy showing signs of a slowdown in growth


Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc walks past the National Assembly chairmanship before he presents a governmental report at the assembly’s spring session in Hanoi, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Vietnam’s economy is showing signs of a slowdown as rising business closures place pressure on social stability, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

Vietnam’s risks and challenges include businesses facing difficulties accessing bank credit and interest rates still at “high levels,” Phuc said in a speech to the National Assembly in Hanoi yesterday.

Company closures rose 9.5 percent to about 17,700 in the first quarter of the year, compared with a year ago, Phuc said.

Domestic consumption has dropped significantly this year, he added.

An index of processing industries’ inventories rose 32.1 percent as of April 1 from the same period last year, according to data in Phuc’s prepared remarks.

Vietnam would take steps to assist companies that face temporary difficulties in repaying bank loans, he said.

Helping businesses while trying to limit price gains are “urgent, crucial and difficult” tasks for the government this year, Phuc said, adding that Vietnam aims for an inflation rate of between 8 percent and 9 percent this year.

Prices rose 10.54 percent last month, the least in 18 months. Inflation has slowed for eight straight months from a peak of 23.02 percent in August last year.

The country’s economy is forecast to expand 4.5 percent in the second quarter of this year National Assembly Economic Committee Chairman Nguyen Van Giau said yesterday.

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