Vietnam’s economy may expand 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a meeting with the World Bank yesterday, according to a posting on the government website.
In December Dung said that growth for 2012 was targeted at about 6 percent. The economy grew 4 percent in the first quarter, and online news service VnEconomy reported on May 14 that the pace of expansion in the second quarter may be about 4.5 percent, citing a government report as saying a full-year target of 6 percent to 6.5 percent would be difficult to achieve.
Vietnam’s central bank pushed up interest rates last year in a bid to slow an inflation rate that reached 23.02 percent in August, which in turn weakened commercial bank lending. The country’s inflation rate has slowed to 8.34 percent, and the central bank cut its policy rates in both March and April.
“To bring growth all the way to 6 percent for the full year after a first half that’s probably going to be 4 percent- plus is asking a lot,” said Marc Djandji, a Ho Chi Minh City- based senior vice president at Indochina Capital. “Domestically we’re going to see some improvements in the third quarter and we’ve already got very strong exports, so things are going to be better going forward than they are now.”
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