The national industrial production growth rate decreased to only 3.9 percent in the first two months of the year against 12.3 percent in 2011 due to economic slowdown, according to the General Statistics Office.

The GSO affirmed that the industrial sector has been facing difficulties on the market and in production.

Consumption of Vietnam-made products shrunk due to the economic crisis, affecting many import markets, the GSO said, adding that the consumption index of the industrial sector decreased 17 percent, resulting in an inventory index of 17.4 percent.

Rising input costs, due to material price hikes and high interest rates, also hindered industrial growth, the GSO added.

The manufacturing and processing industry, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the country's total industrial production value, increased only 2.4 percent in January-February compared to 18.2 percent in 2011 and 18.8 percent in 2010.

Electric cable and line production decreased by nearly 20 percent while paper and packaging production fell by 18.8 percent. The steel, fertiliser, textile and pottery industries reported declines of between 7.5 and 14 percent.

Despite these declines, the shipbuilding, vegetable and fruit processing, dairy, and medicine-chemical production industries saw sharp increases, contributing to a slight growth in industrial production.

The shipbuilding industry surged up to 203.5 percent in the first two months against the same period last year, followed by the vegetable and fruit processing industry with 42.7 percent and dairy production, seafood processing and motorbike production, ranging between 11.5 and 18.3 percent.-VNA