Vietnam battles to hit 6.7 pct growth goal

Economic slow-down is threatening to scupper the government's annual target.

Vietnam is grappling to achieve its target of 6.7 percent economic growth this year after the economy showed signs of losing momentum in the first six months, according to a report.

Agricultural production was hit hard by adverse weather conditions, with the sector recording negative growth of 0.18 percent during the first half of the year, statistics show.

The mining industry, which makes a considerable contribution to the Southeast Asian country’s gross domestic product growth, saw a 2.2 percent decline from January to June, the report said.

These factors, combined with soaring public debt and rising inflation, have knocked the economy into a lower gear.

Vietnam’s public debt might break the ceiling of 65 percent of gross domestic product by the end of this year, the government said. Last year’s public debt was estimated 62.2 percent of gross domestic product, which was relatively close to the cap of 65 percent set by the National Assembly.

Inflation in the first six months is estimated to have risen 1.75 percent against the same period last year, according to data from the General Statistics Office. The upward trend of the consumer price index has forced the central bank to announce that it will maintain a prudent monetary policy to keep inflation under control.

Vietnam’s inflation rose in May to the highest increase in the past five years. Experts forecast that inflation will continue to rise in the final months of 2016 following higher prices for medical services and rising tuition fees.

The government said that economic growth must hit 7.6 percent in the second half of the year to reach the overall annual target of 6.7 percent.

In an attempt to prevent the economy from slowing down, the government said it will increase public investment. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has repeatedly urged ministerial agencies and local authorities to accelerate the disbursement of public investment funds.

The country’s newly-elected lawmakers have convened in Hanoi for their first meeting to draw up a blueprint for social and economic development.

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Tags: economic growth GDP growth target National Assembly government public investment inflation public debt Read on the original site

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