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Vietnam’s Growth Slows to 2.58% as Covid-19 Takes Toll

Data issued by Vietnam’s General Statistics Office (GSO) show the country has fallen well short of its 6.5% growth target for the year

Vietnam's economy hit a growth rate of 8.02% in 2022 but experts say there are global challenges ahead. Photo: Reuters.


Vietnam’s economic growth slowed to 2.58% in 2021, government data showed on Wednesday, dropping from 2.91% the year before as the coronavirus pandemic casts a long shadow over one of Southeast Asia’s key economies.

Data issued by the General Statistics Office (GSO) confirm the country has fallen well short of its 6.5% growth target for the year.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2021 was estimated to increase by 5.22% over the same period last year.

That rate was “higher than the growth rate of 4.61% in 2020 but lower than the growth rate of the fourth quarter of previous years”, the GSO noted.

However, it marks a recovery from the previous quarter, when the economy shrank 6.02% year-on-year.


Industrial Output Up, Consumer Spending Down

Industrial production in the fourth quarter showed a value-added growth rate of 6.52% over the same period last year.

Consumer spending has declined sharply amid prolonged curbs on movement even as exports remained healthy.

In December, the consumer price index decreased by 0.18% compared to the previous month, an increase in 1.81% compared with December 2020.

Authorities have been gradually easing coronavirus restrictions since October in a bid to boost the economy, but daily infection rates are now above 15,000 and among the highest in Asia.

Government officials on Tuesday confirmed Vietnam’s first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. In Hanoi, areas where restaurants are banned from operating have been expanded.


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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