Ilustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) has forecast Vietnam’s economy growth for 2018 may be at 6.88 thanks to positive socio-economic results in the first nine months of this year.

The forecast is higher than the institute’s prediction of 6.71 percent released three months ago.

For the whole year, export growth is also forecast at 13.34 percent, trade surplus at 5.1 billion USD, and average inflation at 3.97 percent, the CIEM said at a seminar themed "Vietnam's Economy: Deepening Reforms and Enhancing Investor Confidence", co-hosted by CIEM and the Australian-funded programme, Australia Supports Economic Reform in Vietnam (Aus4Reform), in Hanoi on October 17.

The workshop aimed to update and evaluate the macroeconomic developments in the third quarter and the outlook for the whole year, while giving recommendations on economic reform and macroeconomic management orientations in the last months of 2018 and the following years.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, head of the CIEM, said high economic growth in the first quarters of this year will help to significantly reduce the pressure on achieving the economic growth targets in the last months of the year. Exports and the disbursements of foreign investment increased quite stably, helping to ensure the balance of the economy.

However, developments in the world market and global trade posed challenges for Vietnam in its macro-economic management.

To achieve the goals for 2018, Cung emphasised that policy priority should continue to focus on improving microeconomic fundamentals and reforming economic institutions towards being more friendly to innovation and the environment, coupled with effective handling of risks in the volatile international economic environment.

The commitment to maintain macroeconomic stability and economic restructuring is necessary, but not enough. Vietnam needs more efforts in strengthening its ability to monitor capital and commodity flows from foreign markets into Vietnam, and a more flexible, pragmatic approach in economic its relations with key partners, he said.

According to the CIEM’s report, the GDP growth rate reached 6.88 percent in the third quarter and 6.98 percent in the first nine months, higher than that of the same period for many years. Export turnover was estimated at 65.3 billion USD in the third quarter, up 15.1 percent, helping Vietnam achieve a trade surplus of nearly 3 billion USD in the quarter and over 6.3 billion USD in the first nine months.

The increasing trend in investment continued in the third quarter, with total social investment up 12.5 percent over the same period in 2017 and 21.6 percent over the second quarter. FDI disbursement continued to increase, reaching 4.9 billion USD in the third quarter, up 2.1 percent over the same period last year and 9.1 percent over the previous quarter.

Average CPI increased by 4.14 percent in Q3 and 3.57 percent in the first nine months. Despite concerns regarding inflation risks at certain points, the 2018 inflation target (4 percent on average) is likely to be achieved. - VNA