The nation's international payment balance was expected to see a surplus of about 7.5 billion USD in the first half of this year with an improved trade situation, the National Financial Supervisory Committee said in a report submitted to the Government.

Improved bank liquidity, falling interest rates and stable exchange rates helped foreign exchange reserves increase by 30 percent since the beginning of the year.

Total credits grew 0.17 percent by June 12, better than the figure of May 31 when the five-month lending rate was reported to decline 0.28 percent, the committee quoted the State Bank of Vietnam's data.

It said despite lending tending to rally over the last few months, it would be difficult for credit to increase during the remainder of the year since bad debts remained significant.

It anticipated a total credit increase of only about 8 percent this year, possibly averaging 1.5 percent per month.

Thus, middle- and long-term lending capital sources for the economy next year would decrease about 80 trillion VND (3.85 billion USD), equivalent to a 0.6-percentage-point decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.

However, as inflation was expected to be controlled at around 6 percent, a "very low" rate compared to the target the Government had previously set of 10 percent, pressure on the total social investment would ease with an investment value of around 36 trillion USD (1.73 billion USD).

With such an inflation prediction, the committee suggested the country be cautious in managing interest rates and investment capital in the coming months.

In order to stabilise the economy in the middle and long terms, it would be reasonable if around 80-85 trillion VND (3.85-4.09 billion USD) worth of investment capital was pumped into the economy every month during the remainder of the year, it said. -VNA