As expected by domestic and foreign economists, Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased 5.22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, despite a six percent decrease in the previous quarter.
The General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) reported recently that the fourth quarter GDP grew an estimated 5.22 percent over the same period last year, higher than the 4.61 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 but lower than the fourth-quarter growth of 2011-2019.
Specifically, the country’s GDP increased 2.58 percent in 2021, growing 4.72 percent the first quarter and 6.73 percent in the second, declining 6.02 percent in the third quarter, and soaring 5.22 percent in the fourth quarter of the year. In 2021, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector grew 2.9 percent (contributing 13.97 percent to national economic growth), while industry and construction rose 4.05 percent (contributing 63.80 percent), and the service sector improved 1.22 percent (contributing 22.23 percent).
Le Trung Hieu, Director of the GSO’s Department of the National Accounts System said that in 2021, Vietnam’s economy encountered numerous difficulties due to the complicated Covid-19 pandemic, especially its fourth outbreak starting at the end of April 2021, which pushed GDP down 6.02 percent in the third quarter of the year. The government promptly came up with solutions to stabilize production and trading activities, which resulted in the fourth quarter recovery. Although lower than the 2.91 percent growth in 2020, the 2.58 percent GDP growth in 2021 is considered positive in the context of pandemic difficulties.
Agriculture overtakes national growth level
Duong Manh Hung, Head of the GSO’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Statistics Department assessed that despite the pandemic, the agricultural sector experienced a fairly stable development, bringing the sector’s growth (2.9 percent) to a higher level than the country’s GDP growth (2.58) for the first time. In particular, while many countries have to restrict agricultural exports to ensure national food security, Vietnam’s agricultural sector is expanding and many farm produce exports surpassed growth targets and expectations of economic organizations.
The processing and manufacturing industry continued to be the driving force of the country’s economic growth, with 6.37 percent growth in 2021, contributing 1.61 percentage points to the national economy’s growth. According to Phi Thi Huong Nga, Deputy Director of the GSO’s Industrial Production and Construction Statistics Department, the processing and manufacturing industry expanded thanks to the business community’s flexible improvisation in implementing production and trading plans in compliance with the pandemic restrictions and Government Resolution 128 on safe adaptation to the pandemic.
The GSO attributed the service sector’s low growth of 1.22 percent in 2021, and negative growth in some major service branches, to the Covid-19 pandemic that severely affected trade and services. Specifically, the wholesale and retail sector decreased 0.21 percent compared to 2020, reducing 0.02 percentage points from the whole economy’s growth, while the transportation and warehousing industry fell 5.02 percent, reducing 0.3 percentage points from national economic growth. However, according to Nguyen Viet Phong, Director of the GSO’s Trade and Service Statistics Department, the 2022 outlook for service sector signals improvement.
Nonetheless, the economy is expected to face numerous difficulties in 2022 due to increases in input material prices. The government and relevant authorities need to create favorable conditions for enterprises to develop, stabilize production and access credit.