Vietnam Q1 GDP Up 4.48% Year on Year, Underpinned by Exports

Vietnam
FILE PHOTO: Workers arrange a steel structure at a construction site in Hanoi, Vietnam December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI ⸺ Vietnam’s gross domestic product grew 4.48% in the first quarter of 2021 from the same period a year earlier, supported by robust exports, government data released on Monday showed. 

The expansion of GDP compared with 3.68% growth in the first quarter of 2020 and 4.48% in the fourth quarter.

In a statement, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said “this was relatively decent growth in comparison with other regional and global economies.” 

Vietnam’s stringent anti-coronavirus measures helped to rein in coronavirus infections, allowing it to resume economic activity earlier than many countries in Asia. 

The industrial and construction sector in January-March period grew 6.3% from a year earlier, the GSO said. The services sector expanded 3.34% and the agricultural sector by 3.16%.

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The GSO data is traditionally released before the end of the reporting period and is often subject to revision.

For the first quarter, the Southeast Asian country’s exports were seen up 22% to $77.344 billion, while imports were estimated to have risen 26.3% to $75.308 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $2.306 billion, the GSO said. 

Its average consumer prices rose 0.29% from a year earlier.

The Southeast Asian country, which launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign early this month, has recorded a relatively low 2,591 coronavirus infections and 35 deaths due to the disease.

The GSO said 2021 will remain a challenging year for Vietnam’s economy, but the government is sticking to its full-year growth target of 6.5%.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Ed Davies; Reuters

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