The nation's Index of Industrial Production (IIP) slowed to its lowest in three years, rising just 4.8 percent in 2012, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

IIP growth rose by 7.3 percent last year and 9 percent in 2010.

Experts blamed the global recession which had lowered domestic purchasing power as well as falling demand from major export markets.

Manufacturing and processing industries, which make up the bulk of the country's industrial output, edged up only 4.5 percent, equivalent to half of last year.

Despite inventories 3 percent lower than the previous year, the two industries had a stockpile index of 20.1 percent this year.

Among industrial products to record significant slowing growth were car and motorbikes (down 15 percent), paper (down 10 percent), coal (down 9.5 percent), and gas and electricity (down 8 percent).

On a brighter note, other products did manage to increase production, with sugar surging 18 percent, pharmaceuticals up 15 percent, crude oil exploitation up 10 percent, and beer up 9.5 percent./. VNA