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Vietnam economy grows most in 5 years

Staff writer |
Vietnam's economy expanded at the fastest pace in five years during 2015, thanks to strong industrial production and record foreign investment, figures from the statistical office revealed.

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Gross domestic product grew 6.68 percent this year, exceeding the official target of 6.2 percent. In 2014, the economy expanded 5.98 percent and in 2013, growth was 5.42 percent.

"2015 was a year of great significance," the statistical agency said. The strong growth figure shows the economy is clearly recovering, it added.

The industry and construction group recorded a 9.64 percent gain that was much bigger than the 6.42 percent increase in the previous year. Industrial growth was 9.8 percent, within which manufacturing output increased 10.60 percent. Construction registered 10.82 percent growth, the biggest since 2010. Service sector grew 6.33 percent.

Consumption grew 9.12 percent. Exports rose 8.1 percent, but missed the government's 10 percent target, mainly due to falling prices of commodities.

Imports climbed 12 percent. The country recorded a visible trade deficit of $3.2 billion, after three consecutive years of surplus.

Foreign direct investment increased 17.4 percent to a record $14.5 billion. Farm sector growth, meanwhile, slowed to 2.41 percent from 3.44 percent.

In the fourth quarter, the Vietnamese economy grew 7.01 percent year-on-year after a revised 6.87 percent expansion in the previous three months.

The government has set a growth target of 6.7 percent for 2016.

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