HANOI, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's industrial output in the first quarter this year fell 2.25 percent from a year earlier, against a 6.4 percent year-on-year expansion in the same period last year amid plummeting exports, government data showed on Thursday.
The Southeast Asian country reported a 13 percent decline in smartphone output to 44.9 million units in the first three months from a year ago, while shipments of smartphones, the largest export earner for the country, dipped 15 percent to 13 billion U.S. dollars, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.
Reflecting the production contraction, exports of furniture, footwear, and clothing in the first quarter plunged 28.3 percent, 18.6 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively, year-on-year.
Vietnam's overall exports in the January-March period fell 11.9 percent from a year ago to 79.17 billion U.S. dollars.
A slowdown in industrial growth has also led to job cuts across the manufacturing sector. The number of workers at large industrial companies as of March 1 inched down 2.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the GSO.
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor reported over half a million workers in Vietnam have been scheduled for fewer hours than they prefer to be working over the past five months due to lower export orders, and about 10 percent of them have been laid off.
Vietnam was in the first quarter faced with "unstable and complicated developments in the world economy," the GSO said in a statement.
The World Bank has forecast that after the strong rebound in 2022, growth in Vietnam is expected to moderate as the growth of exports to major markets slows.
"Commodity- and export-dependent economies," it said in a highlight released in January, "are particularly vulnerable to slowing export demand."
The World Bank expected Vietnam's economic growth this year would be at 6.3 percent, down from 8.02 percent in 2022.