IMF May Revise GDP Growth Estimate Upward for Vietnam

economy-cubeVietnam’s gross domestic product expanded 5.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, up from 4.5 percent in the previous three months, according to figures this week from the General Statistics Office in Hanoi. The government is targeting growth of at least 5 percent for the year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised growth for 2009 to 4.6 percent as Vietnam reported growth of 4.6 percent for the first nine months of 2009. The 4.6 percent forecast is up from a previous estimate of 3.5 percent. Still, the latest projection didn’t take the third- quarter numbers into account, according to Benedict Bingham, the IMF’s senior Vietnam resident representative.

According to Bingham, Vietnam’s strong activity is attributed to both the underlying strength of the Vietnamese economy and the stimulus package recently put in place.

Vietnam put in place a fiscal stimulus package valued at approximately 8.6 percent of GDP in a bid to boost the economy, which grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace on record. Measures included tax exemptions, reductions and deferments for businesses, and an interest-rate subsidy program.

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