Strong exports and domestic demand pushed Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP) growth higher in 2018 than in more than a decade, standing at 7.1 percent, but in 2019 and 2020, a weaker external environment will likely moderate growth and narrow the current account surplus, while inflation remains stable this year but will rise somewhat next year, the ADB stated in its report released Wednesday.
According to the bank, Vietnam's economic growth will continue to be broad-based, underpinned by export-oriented manufacturing, inward foreign direct investment (FDI), and sustained domestic demand.
Ongoing reform to improve the business environment should encourage private investment, as should efforts to forge stronger ties with partners around the world through various trade agreements.
The Vietnamese government targets the establishment of 140,000 new businesses in 2019, which bodes well for exports, FDI inflows, and private investment more generally.
The outlook for private consumption remains robust as households enjoy rising incomes and stable inflation.
Vietnam's inflation is expected to continue to average 3.5 percent in 2019 but accelerate to 3.8 percent in 2020, the ADB said in the report.
Vietnam achieved GDP growth of 6.79 percent in the first quarter of this year, down against the first quarter of last year, but up against the first quarter of 2011-2017, the country's General Statistics Office said last Friday.
Vietnam gained GDP growth of 7.08 percent last year, up from the annualized target of 6.5-6.7 percent, the office said, adding that the country's top legislature has set a target of attaining GDP growth of 6.6-6.8 percent this year.
Standard Chartered Bank has recently forecast Vietnam will see a stable economic growth of 6.9 percent in 2019, buoyed by strong manufacturing sector supported by FDI.