09:17 | 02/04/2015 Trade
Viet Nam has witnessed gradual economic recovery and an increasingly stable macro-economy in the first quarter of 2015.
GDP highest over three years
Viet Nam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2015 reached 6.03%, the highest figure recorded in the same period over the past three years (4.76% in 2013 and 5.06% in 2014), according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The industry and construction sector witnessed the highest growth rate of 8.35%, accounting for 34.8% of the nation’s GDP. It was followed by the service sector with 5.82% and agriculture-forestry-aquaculture with 2.14%.
In the first quarter of the year, the State budget gained VND180,400 billion, equal to 20% of the estimates.
VN records US$1.8 billion trade deficit
Viet Nam recorded a trade deficit of US$1.8 billion in the first three months of this year, accounting for 9% over the total export-import turnover.
Of those, the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, including crude oil, had a trade surplus of US$2 billion. Domestic enterprises had a trade deficit of US$3.8 billion.
Export turnover for the first quarter was evaluated at nearly US$35.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.9%.
Total import turnover in the first quarter was estimated at US$37.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 16.3%. Of those, the FDI sector overwhelmingly imported US$23.1 billion and domestic firms imported US$14.4 billion.
CPI in March increases 0.15%
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March only increased 0.15% against the previous month and witnessed a year-on-year increase of 0.93% despite the rise in the prices of oil and electricity.
The CPI in March decreased 0.1% compared to December 2014.
The average CPI growth for the first three months was minus 0.03 percent.
More than US$3 bln in FDI disbursed
Viet Nam disbursed US$3.05 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first quarter of 2015, a year-on-year increase of 7%, according to the Foreign Investment agency, under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The total newly-registered and additional FDI reached US$1.8 billion, equal to 55.1% of that of the same period last year.
The processing and manufacturing industry led in attracting FDI with US$1.4 billion in 115 projects, accounting for 76.6%.
It was followed by the real estate and retail sales with US$202.93 million and US$123.36 million, respectively.
Industrial production up 9.1%
Viet Nam's industrial production index (IIP) grew 9.1%, compared with 5.3% in the first quarter last year and 4.9% in 2013.
GSO analysts attributed the improvement to the industrial consumption index's strong growth in the first two months of this year. It rose 14.7%on the year, much more than last year's 4.3%during the same period.
The processing and manufacturing sector, which contributed more than three fourths of overall growth, increased 9.6%, as opposed to 7.4% in Q1 last year.
Retail, service sectors post encouraging growth
The total retail sales and service revenue earned in the first quarter this year was VND790.8 trillion (US$37.13 billion), according to data from the GSO.
The figure represents a 10% year-on-year rise, GSO said, adding that the increase would be 9.2% if inflation was excluded.
Retail sales accounted for three fourths of total revenue, reaching VND604.5 trillion (US$28.38 billion) in the first quarter this year, a rise of 10%compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the hotel-restaurant sector's total revenue increased by only 8.8%, lower than the average. The total revenue for tourism was down by 22.8%.
Over 25,000 laborers sent oversea
Viet Nam sent 25,766 workers overseas in the first quarter this year, up 10.7%compared to the same period last year, according to the Overseas Labor Management Department under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.
The figure represented 27% of the year's target.
In March alone, as many as 8,560 went abroad under working contracts, mostly to Taiwan (China), Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and Middle East countries.