First-half GDP expands 7.08 percent, hitting 8-year high hinh anh 1Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7.08 percent in the first half of the year, marking the highest rate since 2010. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7.08 percent in the first half of the year, marking the highest rate since 2010, fueled by robust expansion of the industrial and construction sector and service sector, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

“Impressive growth was seen in the agriculture, seafood, processing and manufacturing and service sectors and exports continued to be a driving force for the nation’s economic development,” said GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam at a press conference in Hanoi on June 29.

The agro-forestry-fishery sector picked up 3.93 percent, contributing 9.7 percent of the GDP growth. Expanding 9.07 percent and 6.9 percent, the industrial and construction sector and the service industry contributed 48.9 percent and 41.4 percent, respectively, of the GDP growth.

Notably, the industrial sector climbed 9.28 percent in the second quarter, which is much higher than 7.01 percent and 5.42 percent recorded the same period in 2016 and 2017. Processing and manufacturing were the pillar of the growth, which scaled up 13.02 percent, the highest level in recent seven years.

The service industry saw the contributions of wholesale and retail sale, financial activities, banking and insurance, accommodations and restaurants, transportation and warehouse and property.

The GSO head said that business confidence was high among domestic and foreign investors in the six-month period. According to Nikkei report, Vietnam’s purchasing managers index (PMI) edged up 52.7 points in April to 53.9 points in May.

In addition, Vietnam jumped 14 steps to rank 69th among 190 economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report, which acknowledged significant improvements of Vietnam in the areas of getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trading across borders and enforcing contracts. This is expected to create favourable conditions for investments by the private sector.

Nikkei said that by May, Vietnam posted the strongest growth in the number of export orders in 14 months.

“These macro-economic indices proved the promptness and efficiency in the steering work of the Government and the Prime Minister along with efforts of ministries, sectors and localities since the onset of the year,” Lam said.-VNA