Vietnam slips back to trade deficit in January

By VnExpress   February 6, 2017 | 05:45 am PT
Vietnam slips back to trade deficit in January
Farmers plant rice on a rice paddy field in Ha Tinh province, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
But officials say it should not be a cause for concern as the economy is set to benefit from global trade growth this year.

Vietnam ran a trade deficit of $100 million in January this year following a year of trade surplus in 2016.

Exports reached $14.6 billion while spending on imported products hit $14.7 billion, according to the General Statistics Office. The country started a week-long Lunar New Year break on January 26.

Shipments of smartphones and accessories, the country’s biggest earner, fell 7.1 percent to $2.6 billion. Textiles also saw a 10.8 percent drop to more than $2 billion.

Foreign invested companies posted a surplus of $1.8 billion while local companies reported a deficit of $1.9 billion.

Despite a rough start, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that Vietnam’s trading activities are likely to flourish in 2017 as global trade is expected to grow by 3.8 percent.

Last year, Vietnam had a trade surplus of $2.5 billion after exports hit $176.6 billion.

The trade ministry has set an export growth target of 6.9 percent for 2017.

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