Vietnam’s economy has bottomed out and is now showing signs of recovery with stable foreign direct investment (FDI) capital and increased trade surpluses, said ANZ Chief Economist for South Asia, the ASEAN & Pacific Glenn Maguire.

The expert made the remark as the Australia-New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) released its report on the Vietnamese Consumer Confidence Index for March.

According to the report, the index has decreased slightly to 141.5 in March, down 0.8 points from February. Despite the reduction, March’s index is still above the 2014 average of 134.5.

Of the respondents, 58 percent (the same level from last month) expect their families to be “better off” financially this time next year compared to just 4 percent (down 3 percent from February) who expect to be “worse off” financially.

Looking ahead, 61 percent (down 5 percent) expect to see growth in the Vietnamese economy over the next five years, compared to 4 percent (down 4 percent) who predict difficult economic times, the lowest rate since February 2014.

Maguire said low petroleum prices have improved household spending and overall incomes have increased, but a number of Vietnamese are still hesitant to purchase major household items.

The report showed that domestic demand is recovering and Vietnamese families remain confident and expect economic progress over the next five years.

Maguire added that policies in Vietnam should be adjusted to reflect the country’s recovering demand.-VNA