Vietnam sees record quarterly GDP slump as Covid-19 curbs hit

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk by 6.17 per cent in the third quarter of 2021 – the nation’s sharpest quarterly drop on record – due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a government report said Wednesday.

In the first nine months of 2021, GDP increased by only 1.42 per cent over the same period last year as measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 seriously affected all sectors of the economy, Vietnam’s General Statistics Office said.

The service sector suffered the steepest fall, with a 9.3 per cent decline in the third quarter, followed by the industrial and construction sector, which decreased by 5 per cent.

Retail sales remain significantly affected by lockdowns and social distancing, with the sector recording a 3.1 per cent drop compared with the same period last year.

On September 28, the World Bank said Vietnam’s economy could grow by 4.8 per cent this year, while the Vietnamese government has set a target of 6.5 per cent GDP growth for 2021.

Le Dang Doanh, a retired economic adviser to five Vietnamese prime ministers, says Vietnam’s GDP will likely only grow between 2.6 and 3 per cent this year, thus failing to meet the government’s target.

“Many production and export activities have already been negatively affected by the excessive lockdown orders, and a range of activities, such as transportation and even domestic purchases, have been disrupted,” Doanh told dpa.

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