Thu, 01 Jun 2023

HANOI, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's economy in the first quarter grew at the second lowest rate in the past 12 years as weakening global demand weighed on exports, official data showed on Wednesday.

The growth of gross domestic product was 3.32 percent in the January-March period, down from 5.92 percent in the fourth quarter and 5.03 percent in the first quarter last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.

Processing and manufacturing, with a 35.47-percent weight of the basket, dipped 0.4 percent from a year earlier, while services, the largest category, rose 6.79 percent and agriculture gained 2.52 percent, the GSO said.

"The economy in the first quarter has achieved positive developments despite global uncertainties," GSO head Nguyen Thi Huong said.

Seafood exports plunged 29 percent from a year earlier to 1.78 billion U.S. dollars in the quarter, while exports of smartphone, among the largest export earners for the country, fell 15 percent to 13 billion dollars, the GSO said.

Overall, Vietnam's exports in the first quarter dipped 11.9 percent from a year earlier to 79.2 billion dollars, compared with an annual expansion of 12.9 percent in the same period last year.

Vietnam's GDP growth, facing headwinds from a global slowdown, is expected to slow to 6.3 percent in 2023, according to the World Bank, after a strong rebound last year when the economy grew 8.02 percent backed by strong domestic consumption and export-oriented manufacturing.

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