HANOI (June 29): Vietnam's economic growth in the second quarter (2Q) fell to its slowest pace in decades due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in the April-June period grew 0.36% from a year earlier, compared with an expansion of 6.73% in the same period last year, the government's General Statistics Office (GSO) said in a statement today.
"The complicated development of the Covid-19 pandemic has left a negative impact on all socio-economic aspects," the GSO said.
The service sector in 2Q contracted 1.76% from a year earlier, while the industrial sector rose 1.38% and the agriculture sector was up 1.72%, the GSO said.
The Southeast Asian country is seeking to resume economic activity after recording only 355 Covid-19 cases and no deaths due to the virus. Vietnam has not seen any community infections for more than two months.
The International Monetary Fund forecast last month Vietnam's economic growth to slow to 2.7% in 2020, but Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said his government will try to keep growth above 5%.
According to the GSO, Vietnam's exports in the first half of this year fell 1.1% from a year earlier to US$121.21 billion, while imports were down 3% to $117.17 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$4.04 billion.
The country's consumer prices in June rose 3.17% from a year earlier, it said. Average consumer prices in the January-June period rose 4.19%.
Vietnam's industrial output in June rose 7% from a year earlier, the GSO added.