Vietnam More Vulnerable to World Slump Than Neighbors, HSBC Says

Vietnam’s current-account deficit, low reserve coverage of short-term external debt and imports and high inflation make it more vulnerable to a global recession than four of its Southeast Asian neighbors, according to an HSBC Holdings Plc report e-mailed today.

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Vietnam economic reform faces crisis of confidence: Singapore Press Holdings

HO-CHI-MINH CITY, Oct 30, 2011. As Vietnam battles galloping inflation and a plummeting currency, a new challenge has emerged – a general collapse of confidence in the state’s ability to heal the ailing economy.

“What is happening in Vietnam is a crisis of confidence,” a foreign investor in the southern business hub Ho Chi Minh City told AFP.

In 2008, as financial turmoil swept the globe, Vietnamese authorities responded by injecting massive liquidity into the economy, and speculative bubbles multiplied.

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Foreign groups, diplomats decry Vietnam import rules

HANOI, Fri May 27, 2011. New Vietnamese rules on imports of cosmetics, alcohol, cell phones and other items amount to non-tariff barriers and may breach the country’s international trade obligations, trade groups, lawyers and diplomats said on Friday.

The rules are widely understood to have been introduced in an attempt to narrow the country’s trade deficit, which economists say is a potential drain on foreign exchange reserves and a drag on the dong currency.

The government has since February turned its focus to addressing macroeconomic instability marked by high inflation, a wide trade deficit and, until recently, falling reserves and a steadily depreciating currency.

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Vietnam economic growth slows to 5.4% (Wall Street Journal)

HANOI. Mar 29, 2011. Vietnam’s year-to-year economic growth slowed in the first quarter as agricultural output slipped, although economists say the lull is likely temporary and that further monetary tightening will be needed as surging inflationary pressures persist.

Gross domestic product expanded 5.4%, compared with growth of 5.8% in the same period a year earlier, the General Statistics Office said in a statement Tuesday.

The figure represents a significant slowdown from the fourth quarter of last year, when GDP expanded 7.3% year-to-year. The economy grew 6.8% during the whole of 2010.

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Vietnam economy plagued by imbalances

HANOI, Mar 24, 2011. Vietnam’s inflation rate accelerated and its trade deficit widened in March, showing that imbalances continue to plague the economy and will keep up pressure on its ailing currency.

Consumer prices surged 13.89% in March from a year earlier, the fastest on-year pace since February 2009, the General Statistics Office said Thursday, making it increasingly difficult for authorities to cap this year’s inflation rate at 7% despite recently switching their focus from fostering growth to taming price pressures.

At the same time, Vietnam’s persistently high trade deficit widened to $1.15 billion in March from a revised $1.11 billion a month earlier, said the deputy minister of industry and trade, Nguyen Thanh Bien.

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