The national index of industrial production (IIP) grew significantly by 17.5 percent in January, up from the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The processing and manufacturing sector, which account for more than 70 percent of total industrial output, saw a year-on-year growth of 19.4 percent, while production and distribution in the electricity sector jumped by 20.9 percent. Production in the water supply, sewage and waste management sector grew by 9.5 percent.

Some industrial products recorded high IIP increases during the month, included handsets (up 91.1 percent); televisions (88.7 percent); steel (35.7 percent); animal feed (29 percent) and cement (27.1 percent).

Encouraging growth was also reported for other products such as fresh milk (21.9 percent); footwear (19.8 percent) and fertilisers (18.5 percent).

Several products, however, reported industrial production drops, such as powdered milk, down 18 percent, liquid petroleum gas (10.9 percent) and sugar (4.7 percent).

As of January, the inventory levels in the processing and manufacturing were up 9.6 percent, a little lower than the figure we saw at the same time last year, GSO noted.

Major industries reflected higher levels of inventory, included paper production (100 percent); means of transport (74.4 percent); beverages (59.5 percent), electronics, computer production (37.8 percent) and metal manufacturing (32.4 percent).

Vu Quang Ha from the GSO said top priority should be given to accelerating consumption to further reduce inventory this year. Last year, the processing and manufacturing reported an average inventory index of 73.8 percent.-VNA