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Industrial production slows in first two months(03/08/09)

(03-03-2009)

HA NOI — Industrial production in the first two months of 2009 has seen the slowest growth rate in years due to the impact of the global financial crisis, reports the General Statistics Office (GSO).

According to the agency, industrial production in January-February increased by only 2.5 per cent, to VND67 trillion (US$6.4 million).

Because of the negative impacts of the economic slowdown, consumer demand for industrial products in both the domestic and foreign markets dropped sharply, says GSO experts, causing domestic industrial producers to face major difficulties seeking customers.

In the domestic market, the total retail value of commodities and services in the first two months of the year surged only 3.8 per cent, equivalent to only a fourth of the same period last year.

The country’s export turnover in January-February also decreased 5.1 per cent and exports of industrial products saw an even larger drop.

State-owned enterprises were the hardest hit, reporting a reduction of 4.4 per cent in industrial production. Though they managed to increase their rate, foreign and private enterprises saw a surge of only 3.3 and 6.6 per cent respectively over the same period last year.

Among the country’s 34 key industrial products, 21 products suffered reduced production in the first two months the year, some of which reported a decrease of 50-60 per cent.

Air conditioners topped the list with a decrease of over 64 per cent. Glass and automobile tyres followed with a reduction of 53.4 and 50.5 per cent, respectively.

A series of industrial products including steel, gas, motorbikes, chemical paint, footwear and televisions fell by roughly 10 per cent.

However, thanks to the exploitation of crude oil, the country saw an increase of 2.5 per cent in industrial production so far. Over the last two months the country exploited nearly 3 million tonnes of crude oil, up 14.2 per cent over the same period last year.

A 10 per cent year-on-year increase to 5.5 million tonnes of cement and a 6 per cent increase in the production of fabric, sugar and powdered milk also saved the country’s industry from a deeper decrease. Despite producing only 11 billion KWh, the power industry still met domestic demands in the first two months of the year due to a sharp drop in power consumption among major industries.

This year the country targeted an increase of 7.4 per cent in industrial production over last year’s 14.6 per cent. — VNS
 

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