Industrial production in the first five months of the year surged 14.2 percent against the same period in 2010 to 343.6 trillion VND (16.36 billion USD), the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.

Of this total, it was the non-State sector which experienced the highest increase: 17.1 percent. Foreign-invested firms followed with growth recorded at 16.9 percent while State-owned firms saw a growth rate of only 5.2 percent.

In May alone, industrial production was valued at 74 trillion VND (3.52 billion USD), up 3.9 percent on the previous month.

Though the growth rate was similar to that in the last several months of 2010, industry insiders were concerned that inflation and high interest rates would cause industrial production to slow over the coming months.

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang warned that increasing fuel and materials prices, as well as high interest rates would hinder industrial production during the second quarter of this year.

"Local industries are already feeling the pinch and things will become harder during the next several months," Hoang said, forecasting that global commodities prices would climb as a result of rising oil prices, which would have serious impacts on the local manufacturing and production sectors.

Hoang said to maintain a high growth, industrial producers needed to strengthen the application of measures aimed at controlling inflation and increase their use of domestically produced machinery and materials. This would minimise negative impacts resulting from the dependence on imports.

The entire sector needed to work hard to assure that industrial production in the coming months reached a growth rate not lower than that seen in the first few months of this year, he said. /.