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Vietnam swings to trade deficit for first time in three months

Vietnam’s economy expanded 4.38 per cent in the first half of 2012

Gulf News

Ho Chi Minh City: Vietnam reported that its trade balance swung to a deficit in August for the first time in three months as imports rose, signalling domestic demand may be growing after authorities eased monetary policy.

The shortfall was $150 million (Dh550.5 million) in August compared with a revised surplus of $579 million in July, the General Statistics Office said in Hanoi on Monday. The median estimate of five forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey was for trade to be balanced. For the first eight months of the year, the deficit was $62 million.

Vietnam’s economy expanded 4.38 per cent in the first half of 2012, down from 5.63 per cent in the same period a year ago. The monetary authority has cut interest rates and told banks to reduce lending rates to spur growth, and while demand for Asia’s goods has faltered, faster credit growth in Vietnam will probably boost expansion in the second half, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd wrote in a report last month.

The dong traded at 20,905 per dollar as of 7:07am local time. The currency has gained almost 1 per cent this year, outperforming peers including the Indonesian rupiah.