Vietnam economy to expand 7.1 pct in 2021: UOB

By Dat Nguyen   October 9, 2020 | 12:24 am PT
Vietnam economy to expand 7.1 pct in 2021: UOB
Workers make garment products at a factory in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Vietnam’s GDP will grow by 2.8 and 7.1 percent in 2020 and 2021, United Overseas Bank has forecast.

With the country managing to contain the second wave of the novel coronavirus in July and August, its GDP growth is set to recover from 2.6 percent in Q3 to 4 percent in Q4, the Singaporean lender said in a recent report.

"We still expect the recovery to extend further in the last quarter but the pace is likely to be restrained against a backdrop of ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic."

The rebound in manufacturing sector and consumption remains weak so far and border closures have reduced tourist arrivals to a trickle, it said.

In the first nine months manufacturing growth fell to a decade low of 4.6 percent, while foreign tourist arrivals were nearly 71 percent down, according to the General Statistics Office.

"While the worst of the impact from Covid-19 pandemic looks to be over, it is still a long way before Vietnam’s economy could return to its full capacity," the report said.

Uncertainty and potential downside risks ahead would leave room for the central bank to make one more rate cut this year, it forecast.

The State Bank of Vietnam has cut policy rates four times so far this year.

All this notwithstanding, Vietnam is set to be the only one of six major Southeast Asian economies to achieve positive growth this year while the rest are expected to contract.

The government has a growth target of 2.5-3 percent this year.

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