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.
- George Russell
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