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Vietnam may miss growth target this year: officials

Vietnam may miss growth target this year: officials
Labourers work at the construction site of a sky train station in Hanoi, Vietnam September 30, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham

Vietnam's government officials on Friday said that the economy may miss the target for gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year, following soft numbers in the first nine months.

“It is estimated that the GDP growth for 2016 will be from 6.3-6.5 percent, but most likely it will be 6.3 percent,” Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Dao Quang Thu said at a government meeting on Friday.

The government previously set the 2016 growth target at 6.7 percent.

Nguyen Thi Hong, the central bank's deputy governor, agreed it is unlikely that the original target could be reached.

She said for the economy to grow 6.5 percent by the end of the year, growth in the fourth quarter must be 8.3 percent, which is improbable considering the range of 5.6-7 percent in previous years.

Officials reassessed the initial target after data showed that the economy grew 6.4 percent in the third quarter, below the 6.87 percent rate seen in the same period last year.

The GDP growth for the first nine months stood at 5.93 percent, also down from 6.53 percent a year ago.

The Asian Development Bank earlier this week revised its growth forecast for Vietnam from 6.7 percent to 6 percent.

Adverse weather, including drought in the Central Highlands coffee belt and salination in the Mekong Delta food basket, have affected industrial and agricultural production as well as Vietnam's export and import sectors, Reuters has reported.