Vietnam posts highest first-quarter GDP growth in decade hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2018 rose 7.38 percent, the highest growth rate over the past ten years, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The growth was fueled by the outstanding performance of the processing and manufacturing sector, the effective structural transformation of the agro-forestry-fishery sector, along with export and tourism booms, said Nguyen Bich Lam, General Director of the GSO, at a press conference in Hanoi on March 29.

In the first three months of this year, the agro-forestry-fishery sector grew 4.05 percent; industry and construction, up 9.7 percent, and the service sector, up 6.7 percent.

In terms of economic structure, the agro-forestry-fishery sector makes up 10.34 percent of the GDP; industry and construction, 35.26 percent; and services, 43.77 percent.

The processing and manufacturing industry became a spotlight of the economy in the period, with a growth rate of 13.56 percent, the highest level over the past seven years.

The mining sector also posted a growth rate of 0.4 percent after sliding for two consecutive years. Meanwhile, the construction industry expanded  7.46 percent, lower than the pace of 8.6 percent recorded in the same period in 2016 and 7.6 percent in the corresponding time last year.

The GSO also pointed to a number of indexes as rosy signs of the national economy, such as the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) which jumped from 53.4 points in January to 53.5 points in February, and the consumption index of the processing and manufacturing industry in March which rose 16.4 percent against the previous month and 10.4 percent year-on-year.

During the reviewed period, inflation remained stable with the consumer price index (CPI) increasing by 2.82 percent as compared with the same period last year. Exports also surged by 22 percent and imports increased by 13.6 percent.

By March 20, 2018, credit growth hit 2.23 percent, while total payment means, up 3.23 percent, and capital mobilisation, up 2.2 percent, Lam said.

Such macro economic indexes reflect timely and effective instructions and management of the Government, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as well as joint efforts of ministries, agencies and localities, he said.-VNA