The trade deficit in the first five months of the year surged sharply to 622 million USD, roughly 3.5 times higher than that of the first four months, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.

The country in the period fetched 42.86 billion USD from exports, up 24.1 percent over the same period last year, while spending 43.48 billion USD for imports, up 6.6 percent.

Director of the GSO's Trade Department Le Minh Thuy attributed the surge to the recovery of domestic production, explaining that most imported goods were raw materials serving local production.

Thuy considered the Government's decision to loosen monetary policies, cut interest rates and cool down inflation as positive factors to boost domestic production as well as export and import activities.

However, the GSO noted that the trade deficit of this year's first five months was equal to only a tenth of the same period last year.

The import of many raw materials declined sharply compared with the same period last year. Imports of cotton decreased by 33.8 percent, fibre by 14.2 percent, vehicle parts by 37.8 percent and fertiliser by 13.6 percent. Petrol and oil imports also reduced by 13.3 percent in value and 23.2 percent in volume. The decreases in imported gas value and volume were 17 percent and 27.6 percent.

Despite the import reduction of many goods, the import value of electronic and computer components saw robust growth in the first five months to serve domestic production. The component’s import value rose 103.4 percent to more than 4.54 billion USD, helping the industry gain an export turnover of 6.41 billion USD. Exports of phones alone increased 110.9 percent to 3.67 billion USD, surpassing the export value of crude oil to rank second among the country's biggest export earners. Textiles and garments topped the list with an earning of 5.33 billion USD.-VNA