Vietnam President Says 2019 Growth May Beat Official Estimate

Mai Ngoc Chau

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Vietnam’s economic expansion this year may exceed the higher end of an official estimate, President Nguyen Phu Trong said.

Growth may be more than 6.8%, and gross domestic product may surpass $266 billion, Trong said in a government statement on Sunday. That compares with the official 6.6% to 6.8% range forecast.

Vietnam’s 2019 inflation rate is expected to be at a level much lower than the goal set by the National Assembly, Trong said in a closing speech at the Communist Party’s central executive committee meeting Saturday. He is also the party’s chief.

The state budget deficit is projected at 3.4% of GDP, while public debt is seen falling to 55% of GDP, lower than the ceiling targeted by the assembly, he said, without giving comparable figures.

The country’s money market is forecast to be stable with the balance of international payments improving, while foreign reserves are more than $70 billion.

Trong estimates Vietnam’s 2019 exports to gain about 8% from last year. Overseas shipments last year climbed 13.3%, slowing from 21.8% growth in 2017, according to Vietnam General Customs data.

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