Vietnam economy grew 5.42pc in 2013

December 23, 2013 4:02 PM

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HANOI: Vietnam's economy grew 5.42 percent in 2013, picking up speed slightly after its worst performance in more than a decade the previous year, according to an official estimate released Monday.

While growth narrowly missed the government's target of 5.5 percent, the economy is "showing signs of recovery" compared with 2012 when gross domestic product came in at 5.25 percent, the weakest in 13 years, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said in a report.

Communist Vietnam is struggling with a host of economic woes, including sluggish domestic demand, a banking sector weighed down with high levels of toxic debt and record numbers of bankruptcies.

In May, the central bank cut interest rates for the eighth time in little more than a year in an attempt to spur lending and boost consumption.

The authorities repeatedly raised interest rates in 2011 to cool down the economy and to rein in double-digit inflation, but last year were forced to reverse course and resort to stimulus measures.

Vietnamese inflation slowed to around 6.04 percent in 2013, from the previous year's 6.81 percent, the GSO said, but warned of "potential risks" of a resurgence in consumer prices.

Vietnam's authorities said earlier they were aiming for economic growth of 5.8 percent for 2014.


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