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At 6.21 per cent, country’s GDP below govt target
Source: VNS - 12/29/2016 10:18:59 AM
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Việt Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) rate in 2016 was 6.21 per cent, predictably below the set growth target of 6.7 per cent.

The General Statistics Office of Việt Nam (GSO) released the figures in a report on the national socio-economic development in 2016 at the year-end press conference on Wednesday morning.

The GDP this year was also lower than 2015’s 6.68 per cent.

The GSO believes that one of the key reasons for such a disappointing economic performance is because of the agricultural sector’s modest growth of 1.36 per cent, a  six-year record low.

The agricultural economy was battered by repeated natural disasters such as flooding in the central region, severe drought in the Central Highlands and saltwater intrusion in the south. The Formosa toxic spill, which contaminated seawater in four central provinces, also had a drastic impact on the region’s economic growth.

Poor performance of the mineral resources sector, a drop of 4 per cent compared to last year, also affected the GDP, the GSO said. The decline of oil prices in the global market hit Việt Nam’s crude oil production this year, which is down by 1.67 million tonnes, and coal production fell by 1.26 million tonnes compared to 2015.

The GDP per capita in 2016 was estimated at around VNĐ48.6 million (US$2.215), a rise of $106 compared to last year, while unemployment rate was at 2.3 per cent.

Việt Nam kept inflation under check as the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.66 per cent, GSO General Director Nguyễn Bích Lâm said. It was well within the red line of 5 per cent set by the National Assembly.

"The government actively adjusted the petrol price - eleven times up and ten times down this year - in tandem with the global price which helped to keep the inflation rate in control,” he said.

Việt Nam also scored a goods trade surplus of around $2.6 billion, an improvement over a trade deficit of around $3.5 billion in 2015.

The number of newly established businesses in 2016 climbed to a record high, the GSO said. Around 110,100 new companies were formed this year, a 16.2 per cent increase to last year, with a total investment of VNĐ891.1 trillion ($39.6 billion).
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