Vietnam growth hits 3-year low
HANOI: Vietnam’s economy grew at its slowest rate in three years during the first quarter, data showed yesterday, with Samsung’s decision to slash output in response to its Note 7 fiasco dragging on the key electronics sector.
The expansion of 5.1 per cent on-year in the January-March period this year was the worst since 2014, according to General Statistics Office (GSO) figures, and was well off the 6.7 per cent in the previous three months.
It also easily missed forecasts of 6.3 per cent in a Bloomberg News survey.
State-run media said the lacklustre growth was a sign of an “economic slowdown”.
“If there is no major breakthrough, it will be very difficult to reach the year-end target of 6.7 per cent,” GSO director Nguyen Bich Lam was quoted as saying by the Saigon Times website.
Lam blamed an 11.4 per cent production drop in the mining industry and tepid growth in other industrial sectors.
Electronics manufacturers also produced fewer of the goods they pump out to global consumers from factories staffed by cheap Vietnamese labour.
South Korea’s Samsung was forced to scale back on production of smartphones in the country, Bloomberg News said, as its pulled the Galaxy Note 7 from shelves. Its output in Vietnam fell 38 per cent in the first quarter, hammering the broader electronics production sector — which accounts for almost a third of the nation’s US$40 billion annual exports. AFP