Socioeconomic Trends Keep Progressive

10:28:02 AM | 6/9/2024

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presided over a regular cabinet session to discuss and evaluate the socioeconomic achievements in May and the first five months of the year. The agenda encompassed a comprehensive review of the execution of three national target programs, the allocation of public investment funds, and a forward-looking preview of the tasks slated for June and beyond.

 Industrial production demonstrates strong recovery in the first five months of 2024

The meeting agreed on the assessment report on governmental administration since the beginning of the year, stating that all levels, branches and localities have closely followed, actively and decisively carry out flexible tasks and solutions in line with resolutions and conclusions of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, the Secretariat, the National Assembly, the Government, and directions of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers.

The meeting underscored the strides made in socioeconomic advancement throughout May and the initial five months of 2024, as numerous sectors showcased heightened performance in May compared to the preceding month, and marked improvements in their five-year performance compared to the same period last year.

The cabinet meeting underlined 10 remarkable results: (1) the economy continued to extend positive development momentum in agriculture, industry, and services and growth was promoted; (2), the macroeconomic landscape was still stable, inflation was controlled, and major balances were guaranteed; (3), exports continued strong upward trends despite weakening global trade; (4), State budget revenue increased sharply, giving rise to better budgetary revenue; (5), tourism recovery strongly outperformed, exceeding the pre-pandemic; (6), development investment was boosted (7), business development tended to be optimistic; (8), cultural and social fields were emphasized; social security was guaranteed; and people’s lives were improved; (9), administrative reform, especially reduction and simplification of administrative procedures, digital transformation, Project 06 and corruption resistance were fostered, helping strengthen public trust; and (10), political and social stability, defense and security were maintained; social order and safety was guaranteed; foreign affairs and international integration were promoted. The country's prestige and position were elevated. Many international organizations and experts continued to highly appreciate Vietnam’s economic performance and prospects.

Accordingly, agricultural production developed steadily. Industrial production recovered considerably, rising 3.9% month on month and 8.9% year on year. Overall, the 5-month industrial growth was 6.8%, led by the processing and manufacturing sector which expanded 7.3%. Some localities strongly advanced (Phu Tho and Bac Giang reported a 31.2% and 24.9% growth, respectively. The service sector continued to expand robustly. Total retail revenue of consumer goods and services increased to 9.5% in May and 8.7% in January-May period.

The May consumer price index (CPI) edged up 0.05% from April and the CPI in the 5-month period rose 4.03%. Exchange rates and interest rates tended to be stable. Energy security and food security were guaranteed (5-month rice exports reached 4.15 million metric tons worth US$2.65 billion, up 14.7% and 38.2% respectively). The balance of labor supply and demand was basically ensured.

The May import and export value jumped 9.1% from April and 22.6% year on year. The 5-month value soared 16.6%, with exports surging 15.2% and imports rocketing 18.2%. Happily, imports rebounded to serve domestic production. Vietnam ran a trade deficit of US$1 billion in May, narrowing the 5-month surplus to US$8.01 billion.

However, the Prime Minister highlighted prevailing social and economic shortcomings and challenges, notably emphasizing the imperative of managing inflationary pressures, fostering growth, and ensuring macroeconomic stability.

Agricultural production was hit by adverse weather. Industrial production, service and purchasing power slowly recovered. The supply of electricity, water and petroleum was guaranteed with drastic and regular guidance. Access to credit was still difficult while bad debts tended to look up. The number of corporate bankruptcies remained high. The real estate market was initially stable but its problems were slowly resolved. The VND120 trillion credit package for social housing was slowly implemented while VND29,100 trillion of public investment capital remained unallocated.

To overcome remaining problems, Prime Minister Chinh requested necessity to prepare well for the question-answer session at the 7th session of the National Assembly; urgently complete documents on five resolutions to submit to the National Assembly; closely coordinate in explaining and completing records and documents of high quality and progress; operate active, flexible, prompt and effective monetary policies; coordinate synchronously, harmoniously and closely in implementing focused fiscal expansion policies; renew traditional growth drivers and strongly promote new growth drivers; further speed up disbursement of public investment capital, three national target programs; perfect institutions and laws, reform administrative procedures, accelerate national digital transformation; strongly develop key industries and fields; focus on cultural, social and environmental fields; and ensure social security and people's lives.

By Bich Hanh, Vietnam Business Forum