Expert warns of impact of Vietnam’s slowing industrial activities on GDP growth
The last time the month-on-month industrial production index (IPI) fell and the headline Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) was as low as 50.5 in September, GDP growth of the first and second quarters in 2016 slowed to 5.5%.
This was despite the fact that Vietnam’s economy grew strongly in the third quarter, making nine-month GDP growth recording its best reading in nine years at 6.98%.
Total industry (including mining and quarrying, manufacturing activities, production of electricity and gas, water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities) peaked in July and August. During this period, although mining and quarrying activities continued to decline, total industry still maintained its pace thanks to manufacturing activities. Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products contributed significantly. At the same time, there was a strong pick up in export of phones and parts in the third quarter.
In September, total industry grew 10.2% year-on-year. Although mining and quarrying slid 6.6%, manufacturing activities advanced 12.3% year-on-year in September.
Furthermore, manufacturing activities from the Nghi Son refinery and Formosa steel mill in central Vietnam bolstered headline results in the first half of 2019. However, Samsung manufacturing activities replaced these two to contribute the most in the third quarter, mainly because the South Korean tech giant released new products during this period.
Hence, as the contribution of Nghi Son and Formosa will not be as significant in the fourth quarter as in the first half of the year, October data is expected to give more clues on whether Samsung can keep its pace or what kind of activities are going to support total industrial activity in the final quarter of 2019, stated VDSC.
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