Business confidence grows after economic recovery in Q2Y2012

The Vietnam’s Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the second quarter of this year rose seven points over the previous quarter.

According to a survey conducted by World Vest Base Financial Intelligence Services Company Vietnam (WVB FISL), the index was 20 points higher than the third quarter in 2008 when it was first compiled, showing that the country’s business community has confidence in the country’s economic recovery.

The survey, which was carried out from June 15 to the first week of July, covered 154 Vietnamese enterprises operating in 11 major industries who currently take the lead nationwide in terms of total assets, turnover, brands and number of employees. More than 50 per cent of them are small- and medium-sized enterprises.

It revealed that more than 44 per cent of businesses said that Vietnam’s economy is now healthier, almost 36 per cent said it stays the same and more than 20 per cent said it is now worse than last year.

For the next 12 months, 71 per cent of respondents said they believe it will get better, while only 3 per cent are worried about further economic gloom.

Worthy of note is that nearly 71 per cent of those interviewed said that they expect to do even better in 2011, nearly 25 per cent thought the economy will remain stagnant while 4.5 per cent are worried that they will face tough times over the next 12 months.

Nearly 51 per cent have plans to keep their labour force intact, 35 per cent said they will recruit more employees, while 14 per cent said they will lay off part of their labour force.

Most of the respondents said that the procedures they have to endure to access credit, along with inadequate tax policies, are the worst difficulties they have to face with.

On top of that, many said that the amount of fake goods that are currently flooding the market is their greatest concern, because of their poor quality. This results in companies losing their prestige with consumers and their brands become associated with inferior products.

As for factors that will affect business operations in the second half of this year, many respondents pointed to inflation, economic instability, difficulties in accessing capital and falling consumer demand.

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)