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Promising economic signals in New Year

January ended with high growth rates in key economic sectors, forming a rosy picture of the national economy in 2011.

Official statistics show that industrial output increased by 16.1 percent year on year to US$3.76 billion with liquefied gas leading the way with a growth of 36.2 percent.

Although foreign direct investment (FDI) was just 15.7 percent of last year’s figure, disbursement rose by five percent year on year to US$420 million.

The hike in FDI disbursement shows that investors are becoming increasingly confident in the country’s business climate, say economists.

The retail and services sectors earned almost VND150 trillion, representing an increase of 22.1 percent over the corresponding period last year.

The consumer price index in January climbed by 1.74 percent over the previous month but was considerably smaller when compared with the last two months of 2010.

Exports achieved US$6 billion, soaring to 18.1 percent year on year with a number of products, such as garments, seafood, electronic appliances, computers and rubber, entering the “one billion USD” list.

Dr Tran Du Lich, a member of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee, says that the Government should gradually restructure the growth model, giving priority to stabilising the macro economy and especially controlling inflation, paving the way for reduced interest rates and making a healthier financial market.

In response, the Government has instructed local administrations, ministries and central agencies to take measures to restructure the national economy, keeping foreign rates stable and boosting exports, while reducing the trade deficit.

At its January meeting, the government decided to expand access to credit for export-oriented businesses, Lich said.

He emphasised that if economic policies can increase public confidence in the domestic market, the target of a 7-percent GDP is not out of reach.

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