Vietnam's Economy Rebounds in Q3

GDP expanded 5.8%

Bringing growth for the nine months to 4.6% compared with a year earlier, Vietnam's economy rebounded in the third quarter, accoording to government estimates released on Sept. 29.

From July to September, gross domestic product expanded 5.8%, the General Statistics Office said.

"The Vietnamese economy has passed through its most difficult period," it said in a report.

In the first half of the year the economy grew 3.9%, the lowest level in a decade, but the government is targeting growth of about 5% for the whole year.

Last week the Asian Development Bank revised upwards Vietnam's projected 2009 growth rate to 4.7%, from 4.5% forecast earlier this year. The latest forecast is the second highest in Southeast Asia after Laos. "Vietnam's economic slowdown appears to have bottomed out," the bank said.

The bank's country economist for Vietnam, Bahodir Ganiev, said Vietnam "is clearly doing well compared to many other countries in the world in terms of growth."

Also the General Statistics Office estimated Vietnam would post a trade deficit of $6.54 billion in the first nine months of the year, as imports fell further than exports. The estimate is much lower than the $15.8 billion deficit recorded in the same period last year, before the global financial crisis took hold.

Between January and September, imports fell 25.2% to $48.27 billion, while exports totalled $41.73 billion, 14.3% down year on year, the office's preliminary report said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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