Viet­nam's GDP growth slows in 1Q on crude curbs

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

VIET­NAM: Viet­nam's eco­nomic growth slowed in the first quar­ter as the coun­try's in­come from crude and agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion dropped. Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct rose 5.46 per­cent in the first three months from a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by the General Sta­tis­tics Of­fice in Hanoi today. That com­pares with the pre­vi­ously re­ported 7.01 per­cent pace in the last quar­ter of 2015 and a me­dian 6.1 per­cent es­ti­mate in a Bloomberg sur­vey for this quar­ter.

The econ­omy "faces chal­lenges in­clud­ing drops in in­ter­na­tional prices of crude oil. Any fur­ther price de­clines will neg­a­tively af­fect the state bud­get this year," ac­cord­ing to Nguyen Bich Lam, head of the General Sta­tis­tics Of­fice. Viet­nam typ­i­cally releases growth es­ti­mates be­fore the end of the quar­ter, weeks ahead of its peers, and the num­bers are of­ten re­vised later.

State in­come from crude oil dropped 53 per­cent in the first quar­ter, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the General Sta­tis­tics Of­fice. Viet­nam re­duced its crude oil pro­duc­tion by 3.7 per­cent to 4 mil­lion met­ric tons in the first quar­ter from a year ear­lier as global oil prices dropped, ac­cord­ing to Lam. Crude oil this week ex­tended its re­treat be­low $40 a bar­rel on global mar­kets amid a re­vival in the U.S. dol­lar. Rice pro­duc­tion from the Mekong Delta, the coun­try's largest rice-grow­ing area, dropped 6.2 per­cent in the first quar­ter, drag­ging down to­tal agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion by 2.7 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Lam. "Un­fa­vor­able weather with the on­go­ing se­vere drought has hurt agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion this year," Lam said.

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