Vietnam economy to grow 5.2%-5.7% in 2012 vs. 5.89% in 2011: Prime Minister

Vietnam’s gross domestic product will likely grow between 5.2% and 5.7% in 2012 as the government continues focusing on inflation control towards sustainable growth for the rest of this year, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

 This is a “reasonable” growth rate, the government chief said at a meeting on Wednesday. The country’s economic growth target was initially set by the National Assembly at 6%-6.5%.

PM Dung also admitted that the local economy expanded at a lower-than-expected rate in the first half of this year, but he attributed the situation to the government’s top priority to tame inflation.

The government targets a higher economic growth rate of between 6% and 6.5% for next year, so as to make impetus for the following years to secure an average annual GDP growth goal of 7% in the 2011-2015 period.

The GDP growth reportedly decelerated to an annual pace of 4.38% in the first half of this year, the lowest for the same period in the recent three years, as local firms faced a lot of difficulties in production and businesses, plus the rising inventories amid weak purchasing power.

The growth has started recovering since the second quarter, with the GDP growth picking up to 4.66%, from 4% in the first quarter, though it was still low compared to an estimated growth of 5.67% between April and June of 2011.

The government is seeking to boost lending at commercial banks, which dropped 0.2% in the first five months, by an average 2% a month for the rest of this year, aiming to support local firms to revive production and businesses to spur economic growth.

Vietnam’s economy expanded 5.89% in 2011, slowing from a growth of 6.78% in 2010.

(Source: VnEconomy)