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Socio-Economic Infor 2013

1. Macroeconomic and market stabilization and inflation control

- Inflation continued to be put under control and price index decreased in comparison to the previous month: Consumer price index (CPI) in March 2013 dwindled by 0.19% from the previous month, marking a monthly drop after registering a rise in seven consecutive months; the sharpest decline of 0.53% was recorded in the group of food and catering service (food alone decreased by 0.95%); while deceases of 0.08%, 0.25%, and 0.05 % were faced by beverage and tobacco, transport, and posts and telecommunications. Slight increases ranging 0.04-0.25 % were reported in other groups of commodities.

The decrease in CPI in March was mainly due to: (1) the continuous, drastic implementation of measures, policies following the Prime Minister’s direction on enhancing management of market price, goods supply and demand, and the fight against smuggled, counterfeit goods, etc; (2) shrinking total demand, slow consumption, high inventories, and pressures from imports, especially imports from China; (3) a general rule that prices of some essential commodities decreased after the Lunar New Year holiday; (4) abundant food supply as the Mekong River Delta was harvesting Winter-Spring rice crop.

Compared to December 2012, March’s CPI went up by 2.39%, the lowest pace against the same period of the past four years. In comparison to the same period last year, the index increased by 6.64%. On average, CPI in the first three months of 2013 climbed 6.91 % against the same period of 2012. 

- Export grew well while import improved: In the first quarter, total export turnover was estimated at US$29.69 billion, up 19.7% against the same period last year; to which the domestic economic sector posted a significant growth of 10.1%; the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) was estimated to grow by 25.6%. Total import turnover in the first quarter was estimated at US$29.2 billion, up 17% from the same period last year with the domestic sector estimated to expand 7.9% and the foreign-invested sector, 25.5%.

- Budget revenues and expenditures: As of March 15, total State budget revenues were estimated at VND 136.3 trillion, equal to 16.7% of the whole-year target; total State budget expenditures were estimated at VND 171.93 trillion, equal to 17.6 % of the yearly estimate.

- Development investment: Total social investment in the first quarter by the current price was estimated at VND 195.3 trillion, equivalent to 28.6% of the country’s GDP. Of the figure, disbursed development investment sourced from the State budget was VND 35.2 trillion, equal to 20.1% of the yearly plan; disbursed capital sourced from Government bonds was VND 23.6 trillion, or 39.3% of the yearly plan; State investment credit was estimated at VND 5.5 trillion, or 9.1 % of the yearly plan; investment of public enterprises was estimated at VND 15.6 trillion, or 17.3% of the yearly plan; investment coming from people and private enterprises was estimated at VND 70 trillion; disbursed foreign direct investment reached US$2.7 billion, up 7.1% from the same period last year; registered capital was estimated at US$6.03 billion, increasing 63.6%; disbursed ODA was estimated at US$290 million, equivalent to the figure of the same period last year.

2. Realizing economic growth goals

- The national economy continued growing at a level that was higher than the same period last year: the first quarter’s GDP was estimated to grow at 4.89%, which was higher than the 4.75% of the same period of 2012, in which agriculture, forestry, and fisheries increased 2.24%; industry and construction expanded 4.93% and the service sector grew 5.65%. This growth rate was moderate at a time when national and global economies still grappled with various difficulties and priority continued for reining in inflation and stabilizing the macro-economy.

- Industrial production still coped with different drawbacks despite making positive moves: The index of industrial production (IIP) in the first quarter was estimated to grow 4.9%, in which mining expanded 2.1%, processing and manufacturing increased 5.4%, electricity generation and distribution rose 8.5%, and water supply and waste water treatment surged 9.5%. Inventories decreased sharply from the same period last year. As by March 1, inventory index of the processing industry was 16.5%, lower than the 21.5% level reported on January 1, 2013.

- Production of agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture continued development, however it is being challenged by drought, salinity, and dwindling consumption markets: production value of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in the first quarter rose 2.6% against the same period last year; in which: agriculture increased 2.5%, forestry, up 5.8%, and fisheries up 2.5%. In comparison with the same period last year, the herd of cattle downsized by 3-4%, poultry was estimated to decrease by 2-3%, the herd of pigs dwindled by 1-2%. Seafood output was estimated to reach 1.151 million tons, rising 1.1% from the same period last year. The forestry registered a production value growth of 5.8%.

- The service sector continued growing at a high level, however, many of its activities were hindered by difficulties: The added value of the service sector in Q1 grew at 5.65% in comparison with the same period last year. Total retail sales of goods and services value were estimated to increase 11.7%. International arrivals to Viet Nam faced a drop of 6.2%. The volume of transported cargoes was estimated to rise 4.9%, the volume of circulating commodities was estimated to decrease 6.1%. The volume of transported passengers was estimated to increase 6.8% and the volume of moving passengers was estimated to rise 5.9%.

3. Social welfare, health, culture and other social fields 

- Education-training, science-technology, natural resource-environment: Focus was given to directing the implementation of the preschool education universalization project for five-year children; pilot application of some new education/tuition models continued; regular education center network consolidated and developed; culture knowledge training program was developed for guest workers coming from 62 poor districts, and methods of construction, organization and management of key science - technology programs at the national level were changed to enhance research activity efficiency. The project on constructing national land database was developed and implemented; conferences were held to collect people’ opinions on the draft land law amendments.

- Labor, employment, social welfare, hunger elimination & poverty reduction: In March, around 130,500 people got jobs, bringing the total number of jobs created during the first quarter to 361,700, representing 21.4% of the yearly plan. Social welfare continued to be paid due attention, including activities relating to assisting job placement, supporting the poor, helping the hungry, visiting and encouraging the policy beneficiaries, etc. As of March 20, 2013, the number of hunger-stricken households fell 42.7% and the number of hunger people decreased by 10.9%.

- People’s health care:  preventive health and food safety & hygiene were strengthened; inspection of slaughterhouses, and food producers and processors was intensified; food safety violations were strictly dealt with. Measures to prevent epidemic diseases on livestock and poultry were deployed; and violations were timely uncovered and handled to prevent epidemic outbreak or spread. In Q1/2013, there were 11,300 cases of hand-food-mouth disease nationwide, down 25.5% from the same period last year.

During the month, there were six food poisoning cases involving 245 people, including 1 fatality, bringing the case in Q1/2013 15 with 487 people suffered, including 4 deaths.

- Culture, information, sports: Focus continued for organizing cultural activities, popularization of social and political events nationwide. Sports competitions were held nationwide to greet Party and spring anniversaries. The list of national intangible cultural heritages was created; planning scheme on special national historical vestiges was approved; and many art exhibitions were held to introduce intangible cultural heritages. 

Other news
Socio-economic situation in February and the first two months of 2013
Socio-economic information in January 2013
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