Vietnam saw a slight recovery in industrial production with the return of a 1 billion USD trade deficit in April, according to a report form the Ministry of Industry and Trade on May 6.

Statistics showed the industrial production index in April increased by 5.8 percent over the same month last year and the index of the four-month period rose 5 percent over the same period last year.

The figures reflected signs of recovery in industrial production and that enterprises were more confident about the economy this year, the ministry said.

However, in the first three months, consumption was estimated to have increased only 4 percent over the same period last year, proving that the purchasing power in the domestic market had not improved much.

The country was reported to have run a trade deficit of 1 billion USD in April and 722 million USD in the first four months of this year.

According to the ministry, the trade deficit in April was attributed to the low growth of exports, especially the decline in export value of agricultural, forestry and seafood products.

The ministry’s report revealed that export turnover in April decreased 12.1 percent over March, reaching 9.7 billion USD, while imports also dropped by 7.3 percent to 10.7 billion USD.

In April, many enterprises enhanced imports of raw materials for their production, resulting in a trade deficit, which could be in a sign of domestic production recovery.

For the four-month period, export turnover was estimated to total 39.46 billion USD, representing a rise of 16.9 percent over the same period last year, and the import turnover was nearly 40.19 billon USD, 18 percent higher.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) sector accounted for around 65 percent of the country’s total export turnover and 71.5 percent of import turnover.

Regarding the refinery project in Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, worth 27 billion USD, Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa, at a press conference on May 6, said the ministry’s viewpoint was to support the project.

She said more investment in oil refining was needed because Vietnam had only one oil refinery. However, there were still a lot of work to do for the feasibility of the project, she said.

The ministry also said that investment projects would be put under close supervision, especially key project making slow progress, and those which were to be finished this ear would be hurried up.-VNA