Viet Nam’s economy and society in the first months of 2019 took place in the context of the slowdown trend in world economy with increasing risk factors and challenges. World trade and investment activities decreased; disagreement among powerful countries on shaping the global trading system was increasingly deep. The trend of increasing interest rates, unpredictable fluctuations in international financial and monetary markets and oil prices were complicated, affecting credit growth, market sentiment and expectations[1]. The increasing trend of populism, production and trade protection, and geopolitical changes were also challenges to the world economy and influenced Viet Nam’s economy. In the country, thanks to the advantages of impressive results achieved in 2018, the economy in the first months of the year continued to change positively, the macro economy was stable, inflation was controlled at a low level, but also encountered many difficulties and challenges such as slow growth of some key export products; low disbursement of public investment; complicated situation of climate change, natural disasters, and animal diseases.

The year of 2019 was determined by the Government to be a “breakthrough” in striving to successfully implement the five-year socio-economic development plan 2016-2020 with the motto of “Discipline, integrity, action, creativity and efficiency”, the Government issued Resolution No. 01/NQ-CP dated 1st January, 2019 on the major tasks and solutions to implement the Socio-Economic Development Plan and estimation of the State budget in 2019, and Resolution No. 02/NQ-CP on continuing to perform the major tasks and solutions to improve the business environment, to enhance national competitiveness in 2019 and orientations to 2021, at the same time, drastically directed the ministries, agencies, and localities to focus on implementation right from the first days and the first months of the year in order to fulfill the development objectives and indicators on socio-economic development. The results achieved in the first quarter of this year were as follows:

      I. ECONOMIC GROWTH

  1. Growth rate of gross domestic product

The gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated to increase by 6.79% compared to the same period last year, lower than the growth rate of the first quarter of 2018 but higher than the growth of the first quarter of 2011-2017[2], affirming the timeliness and efficiency of the Government and the Prime Minister in drastic direction along with the participation of all levels and localities in the implementation of the socio-economic development plan in the beginning of the year 2019. In overall growth of the economy, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector increased by 2.68%, contributing 4.9% to the overall growth rate; the industry and construction sector rose 8.63%, making up 51.2%; the service sector increased by 6.5%, representing 43.9%.

In the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector, the agricultural activities went up 1.84% compared to the same period last year, much lower than an increase of 3.97% in the first quarter of 2018, contributing 0.17 percentage points to the total added value growth of the economy; the forestry activities expanded 4.2%, contributing only 0.03 percentage points due to low proportion; the fishery activities grew 5.1%, reaching the highest growth rate in the first quarter in the last 9 years[3], contributing 0.14 percentage points.

In the industry and construction sector, the industry activities increased by 8.95% over the same period last year, contributing 3.14 percentage points to the total value added growth of the whole economy. The main driving force of the economy in the first quarter of 2019 was the manufacturing activities with an increase of 12.35%, though lower than the increase of 14.3% in the first quarter of 2018 but higher than the growth in the first quarter of years 2012-2017[4], contributing greatly to the growth rate of total added value with 2.72 percentage points. The mining and quarrying activities in the first quarter of this year grew negatively (a downturn of  2.2%), reducing 0.15 percentage points to the total added value growth of the economy due to the decrease of 10.3% and 2.4% in crude oil and natural gas production, respectively. The construction activities in the first 3 months of this year maintained a good growth rate of 6.68%, contributing 0.39 percentage points.

In the service sector, the contribution of some economic activities with large proportion to the overall growth rate as follows: the wholesale and retail increased by 7.82% compared to the same period last year, enjoying the highest contribution to the overall growth with 0.95 percentage points; the accommodation and catering services expanded 6.22%, contributing 0.3 percentage points; the finance, banking and insurance activities increased by 7.71%, making up 0.36 percentage points; the real estate business rose 4.75%, comprising 0.32 percentage points.

Regarding economic structure in the first quarter of this year, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector accounted for 10.16%; the industry and construction sector made up 35.25%; the service sector represented 44.04%; the products taxes less subsidies on production comprised for 10.55% (The corresponding structure of 2018 was: 10.35%; 35.31%; 43.72%; 10.62%).

From the expenditure approach of GDP in the first quarter, final consumption increased 7.09% compared to the same period in 2018; gross capital formation grew 6.2%; export of goods and services went up 6.81%; imports of goods and services rose 8.7%.

  1. Agriculture, forestry and fishery

Production of agriculture, forestry and fishery in the first quarter of 2019 witnessed a good growth, affirming the transformation structure of the sector was effective; on the other hand, the price of goods was stable with the expansion of export market which was the main driving force to promote production of the sector. However, Africa swine fever was complicated, affected to livestock production results in the following months. Although fishery gained the highest growth rate in the last 9 years, however, main export products faced competitions from other countries, especially pangasius and brackish water shrimp.

       a) Agriculture

As of middle of March, the country cultivated 3,087.2 thousand hectares of winter-spring paddy, equaling 100.8% compared with the same period last year, included: Northern provinces reached 1,088.4 thousand hectares, equaling 99, 6%; Southern provinces reached 1,998.8 thousand hectares, equaling 101.4%. Cultivation of winter-spring paddy in Northern localities basically completed, warm sunny weather and abundant water sources created favourable conditions for paddy to grow and develop. However, it was forecasted that heavy rain and high humidity in the time coming that caused pests and diseases on paddy to be complicated, especially blast disease in paddy, leaf worms, stem borers in paddy, pests of all kinds, etc. The agriculture closely monitored the evolution of pests and diseases, timely handled outbreak of disease so as not to affect the growth of paddy. In southern localities, the farming area of ​​winter-spring paddy in Mekong River Delta this year reached 1,601.5 thousand hectares, equaling 101.8% compared with the same period last year, of which the area of paddy cultivation increased mainly in Ca Mau with 37.9 thousand hectares due to the conversion of the crop from winter paddy to winter-spring paddy. Up to now, Mekong River Delta gained 1,042.6 thousand hectares of winter-spring rice harvested, made up 65.1% of the cultivated area, rose by 64.8% compared with the same period in 2018 due to not being affected by flood and high tide like last year. However, long lasting sunny and hot weather affected the quality and yield of early paddy. Production of winter-spring paddy in the whole Mekong River Delta was estimated at 10.8 million tons, fell 37.9 thousand tons compared with the previous winter-spring crop; yield was estimated at 67.4 quintals/hectare, decreased by 1.5 quintals/hectare.

Also, as of mid-March, Mekong River Delta provinces basically completed harvesting winter paddy 2018-2019. According to preliminary reports of localities, the total cultivated area of the whole region reached 171.7 thousand hectares, fell 25.6 thousand hectares compared with the previous winter paddy; yield was estimated at 46.4 quintals/hectare, increased by 0.3 quintals/hectare; production reached 797.2 thousand tons, fell 112.3 thousand tons. The conversion of the area from cultivating winter paddy to winter-spring paddy in Ca Mau province affected the results of crop production in Mekong River Delta, while the paddy yield decreased due to the rainy season ended early, partially an area of paddy/ shrimp rotation was salinned that led to production of paddy of Ca Mau province decreased by 206.7 thousand tons, compared with that over the previous year.

As of middle of March, localities in the country cultivated 346.8 thousand hectares of maize, equaling 102.9%  compared with the same period last year; 62.3 thousand hectares of sweet potatoes, equaling 98.9%; 120.8 thousand hectares of groundnut, equaling 98.2%; 14.9 thousand hectares of soybean, equaling 103.5%; 520.8 thousand hectares of vegetables and beans, equaling 102.8%.

In quarter I of 2019, some perennial industrial crops were harvested, of which: rubber production was estimated at 121.5 thousand tons, grew up 3.6% compared with the same period last year; teashoot reached 86.1 thousand tons, grew up 2.6%; pepper reached 137.6 thousand tons, fell 1.4%; cashew reached 166.7 thousand tons, fell 8.5%. Production of some fruit increased quite well: bananas were estimated at 528.2 thousand tons, grew up 2.4% compared with the same period in 2018; orange reached 375.3 thousand tons, grew up 8.6%; pineapple reached 190.2 thousand tons, grew up 6.7%; mango reached 185 thousand tons, grew up 4.8%.

Buffalo population in the country in March continued to decrease by 2.8% compared with the same period last year due to low economic efficiency, narrow grazing area; production of buffalo living weight in the first quarter of 2019 reached 26.3 thousand tons, rose by 1.8%. Cattle population grew quite well with an increase of 3% in the month due to favorable prices and consumer markets, producers made stable profits; production of cattle living weight in the first quarter this year was estimated at 99.2 thousand tons, rose by 2.5% compared with the same period last year; production of cow milk in the first quarter reached 252.2 thousand tons, rose by 7.3%. Pig population in the country in March increased by 2.5% compared with the same period last year; production of  pig living weight in the first quarter reached 1,012.2 thousand tons, rose by 3.2%. The livestock was facing complicated outbreak of Africa swine fever spread in 23 provinces and cities under the central government[5], consumers tended to limit the use of pork that made price of pig living weight decreased in the country. Poultry husbandry grew well, consumption market was stable, the total poultry population in March was estimated to increase by 6.5%  compared with the same period last year; production poultry living weight in the first quarter of 2019 reached 338.3 thousand tons, rose by 6.2%; production of poultry eggs in the first quarter reached nearly 3.6 billion eggs, rose by 10.6%.

        b) Forestry

Forestry production in the month focused mainly on site preparation and seedlings for forest planting according to the plan in 2019. In March, area of concentrated forests in the country was estimated at 16.6 thousand hectares, rose by 1.2% compared with the same period last year; production of wood cut reached 996 thousand m3, an increase of 6%.

Generally for the first quarter of 2019, the concentrated forests area in the country was estimated at 31.9 thousand hectares, grew up 1.4% compared with the same period last year; the number of scattered trees reached 15.7 million, an increase of 0.5%; production of wood cut reached 2,714 thousand m3, rose by 4.5%, of which: Lao Cai increased by 21.7%; Thanh Hoa increased by 7.2%; Quang Nam increased by 7%. Production of exploited firewood in the first quarter was estimated at 3.9 million ste, fell 1.5% compared with the same period of 2018.

The damaged forest area in March 2019 was 53.1 hectares, of which forest fire area was 18.4 hectares; area of forest cut was 34.7 hectares. Generally for the first 3 months of the year, the damaged forest area was 98.7 hectares, fell 48.4% compared with the same period last year, of which forest fire area was 22.8 hectares, fell 56.6%; deforested area was 75.9 hectares, decreased by 45.4%.

        c) Fishery

Production of fishery in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated at 1,466.7 thousand tons, increased by 4.8% compared with the same period last year, of which fish reached 1,098.7 thousand tons, rose by 5.1%; shrimp reached 136.4 thousand tons,  rose by 5.2%; other fisheries reached 231.6 thousand tons, rose by 3.4%.

Aquaculture production in the first quarter was estimated at 646.2 thousand tons, rose by 4.9% compared with the same period last year, of which fish reached 468.2 thousand tons, rose by 5%; shrimp reached 101.9 thousand tons, rose by 7.6%. The price of raw pangasius in the first two months of the year remained relatively high, but in March there was a downward trend[6] due to the slowdown in export of pangasius to the main markets (the US and China), export enterprises limited purchasing, however, at current price, producers still made profit from 500-1,000 VND/kg, so new farming area continued to increase. Pangasius farming area in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated at 3 thousand hectares, rose by 12% compared with the same period last year; production of pangasius reached 250.1 thousand tons, rose by 7.7%, of which Dong Thap reached 98.9 thousand tons, rose by 3.9%; An Giang reached 81.6 thousand tons, rose by 11.3%; Can Tho reached 36.4 thousand tons, rose by 13%. Brackish water shrimp farming was in the main crop with favorable weather conditions. Production of tiger shrimp in the first quarter was estimated at 43.1 thousand tons, rose by 4.7% compared with the same period last year; production of white leg shrimp reached 45.6 thousand tons, rose by 8.9%.

Fishery production in the first quarter this year was estimated at 820.5 thousand tons, grew up 4.8% compared with the same period last year, of which fish reached 630.5 thousand tons, grew up 5.2%; shrimp reached 34.5 thousand tons, fell 1.1%. The weather in early months of the year was relatively favorable for marine catching, costs for marine catching operations were stable, the needs of people for seafood consumption increased that created motivation for fishermen conducted sea catching. Estimated production of marine catching fishery in the first quarter of 2019 reached 785.1 thousand tons, grew up 5% compared with the same period last year, in which fish reached 606.1 thousand tons, grew up 5.4%; shrimp reached 31.6 thousand tons, fell 0.9%.

  1. Industrial production

Industrial production in 1st quarter of 2019 reached the sharp growth rate, of which, the manufacturing did not break through as much as the 1st quarter of 2018 but it was still a spotlight, mainly contributing to the growth of the industrial sector as well as the whole economy; Particularly, the mining and quarrying experienced a continuous decline, demonstrating the economy had escaped from the dependence on the mining and quarrying of mineral and natural resource.

The index of industrial production (IIP) in March 2019 was estimated to soar 27.6% compared to the previous month mainly due to the much more working days (Lunar Tet holiday was coincident with February of this year). IIP in March increased by 9.1% year-on-year, of which the mining and quarrying; the manufacturing; the production and distribution of electricity; water supply, waste and sewerage remediation rose by 0.4%; 10.3%; 9.8%; 11% respectively.

Generally, IIP in 1st quarter 2019 was estimated to increase by 9.2% over the same period of last year, lower than the growth of 12.7% of the same period in 2018 but much higher than the growth of 7.4% and 4.8% in the same period of 2016 and 2017 respectively. Of which, the manufacturing continuously played major role, encouraging the general growth rate of 11.1% in the whole industrial sector, contributing 8.5 percentage points to the general growth rate. However, the growth rate was much lower than the figure of 15.7% in the same period of 2018[7]; the production and distribution of electricity rose by 9.4%, contributing 0.8 percentage points; the water supply, waste and sewerage remediation went up 8.5%, contributing 0.2 percentage points; particularly, the mining and quarrying decreased by 2.1% (mainly due to a drop of 6.2% in the extraction of crude oil and natural gas), resulting in a decline of 0.3 percentage points in the general growth.

By usage purpose of industrial products, the index of intermediate consumption product production (serving for the following production process) in the 1st 2019 increased by 7.3% in comparison with the same period of previous year; final consumption products grew by 10.6% (products as production material climbed up 9.7% and final consumption products edged up 11%).

In the 2-digit industrial activities, IIP in some industrial activities possessed a high rise against the same period of last year, mainly contributing to the general growth of the whole industrial sector: the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products shoot up 96.1%; the manufacture of metals surged up 37.3%; the manufacture of motor vehicles soared 20.8%; sewerage remediation and drainage; the manufacture of rubber and plastic products; the mining and quarrying support service activities; the manufacture of beverages; the quarrying of metal ores rose by 13.1%; 12.8%; 11.6%; 11.4%; 10.9% respectively. Some industrial activities possessed a moderate increase or decrease: the manufacture of fabricated metal (except machinery and equipment); the manufacture of electronic, computer and optical products (an increase of 29.3% in the same period of previous year); the manufacture of pharmaceutical, medicinal chemical and botanical products; the manufacture of tobacco products had the corresponding rise of 3.3%; 2.9%; 1.3%; 0.4%; extraction of crude oil and natural gas fell by 6.2% (extraction of crude oil dropped 10.3% and extraction of natural gas reduced by 2.4%); other mining and quarrying (stone, sand, gravel…) went down 0.2%.

Some main industrial products in 1st quarter of 2019 reached a sharp increase compared to the same period of last year: Petroleum; iron and steel bar; assembled television sets; liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); automobiles soared 73.2%; 64.8%; 49.3%; 37.8%; 22.3% respectively. Urea fertilizers; chemical paint; fabric from polyester and artificial yarn; leather footwear; aquatic feed had the corresponding rises of 13.1%; 12.9%; 12.4%; 11.7%; 10.9%. Some products possessed a slight increase or reduction: Mobile phone rose by 2.1%; assembled motorbike edged up 2%; cigarettes went up 0.4%; steel reduced by 0.5%; NPK fertilizers went down 0.6%; natural gas fell by 2.4%; refined sugar decreased by 5.3%; extraction of crude oil shrank by 10.3%; parts of mobile phone plunged by 26%.

In the 1st quarter of 2019, IIP of 59 out of 63 provinces and cities under the central increased year-on-year, of which Thanh Hoa achieved the highest growth rate of 51.2% because Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical LLC started running at mid-2018; Tra Vinh surged up 40.4% because Duyen Hai Thermal Power Plant increased Its electricity productivity; Ha Tinh soared 33.8% mainly due to the contribution of Formosa corporation. IIP of some large-size industrial provinces in the 1st quarter over the same period of previous year as follows: Hai Phong; Vinh Phuc; Quang Ninh; Hai Duong; Quang Nam; Dong Nai; Binh Duong; Ha Noi climbed up 20.1%; 11.5%; 10%; 9.6%; 9%; 7.6%; 7.2%; 6.9% respectively. Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh city both edged up 6.2%. Thai Nguyen and Da Nang had a corresponding rise of 5.5% and 5%. Some provinces experienced the reduction in IIP year-on-year: Ba Ria-Vung Tau fell by 1.9% due to a continuous decline in extraction of crude oil; Hoa Binh and Son La dropped 8.9% and 16.8% respectively, due to a fall of electricity productivity; Bac Ninh went down 10.5% because of a remarkable decline of mobile phone’s parts production.

The index of industrial shipment of manufacturing in March 2019 surged up 25.6% compared to the previous month and rose by 6.5% year-on-year. In general, the index of industrial shipment of manufacturing in the 1st quarter increased by 8% in comparison with the same period of 2018 (a rise of 14.2% in the same period), of which some industrial activities recorded a high rise in the index of industrial shipment: the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products rocketed by 115%; the manufacture of metals surged up 23.9%; printing and reproduction of records of all kinds soared 18.9%, the manufacture of rubber and plastic products jumped by 15.6%; the manufacture of beverage climbed up 12.5%; the manufacture of motor vehicles went up 10%. Some activities had a slight rise or reduction in the index of industrial shipment: textile; the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products grew by 2.8%; 0.7% respectively; the manufacture of fabricated metal (except machinery and equipment) reduced by 0.8%; the manufacture of tobacco products dropped 4.7%.

The index of industrial inventory of manufacturing as of 31st March 2019 gained a rise of 15.6% compared to same time point of previous year (the figure was 13.5% in the same time point of 2018), of which some industrial activities had a lower growth in the index of industrial inventory than the general growth or fell: the manufacture of food products; the manufacture of wood and wooden, rattan and bamboo rose by 5.1%; 2.7% respectively. The manufacture of furniture fell by 0.1%; the manufacture of electronic, computer and optical products went down 4.7%; the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products; printing and reproduction records of all kinds plunged by 21.9%; 58.2% respectively. Some industrial activities possessed a high rate in the index of industrial inventory compared to the same time point of last year: the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products rocketed by 105.2%; the manufacture of leather and related products shot up 59.3%; the manufacture of electrical equipments surged up 42.6%; the manufacture of metals soared 42.1%; the manufacture of fabricated metals (except machinery and equipment); the manufacture of chemicals and chemicals products; and the manufacture of wearing apparel jumped up 39.1%; 38.7%; and 35.9% respectively.

The average rate of industrial inventory of manufacturing in the 1st quarter of 2019 was 72.9% (the figure was 68.2% in the same period last year), of which some industrial activities possessed the high rate of industrial inventory as follows: Textile was 292.9%; the manufacture of wood and wooden, rattan and bamboo products was 135.9%; the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products was 95.4%; the manufacture of fabricated metals (except machinery and equipment) was 78.4%; the manufacture of electronic, computer and optical products was 76.8%; the manufacture of food products was 75.3%; the manufacture of rubber and plastic products was 75%.

The number of employees working in industrial enterprises as of 1st March 2019 increased 1.4% over the same time point of last month and rose by 2.3% against the same time point of last year, of which employees in State-owned enterprises decreased by 0.5%; employees in non-state enterprises went up 1.5%; employees in FDI enterprises edged up 3.1%. At this time point, the number of employees in the mining and quarrying enterprises declined by 1% compared to the same time point of previous year; employees in the manufacturing; employees in the production and distribution of electricity; employees in water supply, waste and sewerage remediation grew by 2.4%; 2%; and 1.2% respectively.

The number of employees in industrial enterprises as of 1st March 2019 compared to the same time point of previous year in some large-sized industrial provinces was as follows: Hai Phong; Ba Ria-Vung Tau; Quang Nam had the corresponding increase of 7.8%; 7.4%[8]; and 4.3%. Binh Duong and Vinh Phuc both rose by 4.1%; Hai Duong went up 3.9%; Ha Noi and Dong Nai both edged up 1.9%; Quang Ninh; Can Tho; Ho Chi Minh city accelerated by 1.3%; 0.9%; and 0.3% respectively. Thai Nguyen; Bac Ninh and Da Nang reduced by 2.3%; 10.4% and 13.2%[9]respectively.

  1. Enterprise activities

In the first quarter of 2019, the number of newly registered enterprises and re-operated enterprises grew up. Results of the business trend survey of the manufacturing enterprises in the first quarter of 2019 pointed out: the almost of enterprises assessed that the business production situation was stable, enterprises were optimistic with the business production situation would be stable and better in the second quarter of 2019.

       a) Enterprises registration status[10]

In March of 2019, there were 12,472 newly established enterprises in the whole country with a registered capital of 128.1 trillion VND, an increase of 111.4% in the number of enterprises and 33.1% in the registered capital compared to last month[11]; the average registered capital of an enterprise reached 10.3 billion VND, down 37%; The total registered employees of the newly established enterprises were 153.7 thousand employees, an increase of 174.1%. In the month, there were 4,877 re-operated enterprises in the whole country, increasing 179.2% compared to the previous month; 1,373 enterprises  ceased for a certain period of time, reduced 51.4%; 1,882 enterprises temporarily ceased, awaited dissolution, increasing by 8.2%; 960 enterprises completed dissolution procedures, a fall of 29.1%.

Generally for the first quarter of this year, there were 28.451 newly registered enterprises with a total registered capital of 375.5 trillion VND, an increase of 6.2% in number of enterprises and 34.8% in  registered capital compared to the same period in 2018[12]; The average registered capital of a newly established enterprise reached 13.2 billion VND, an increase of 26.9%. If including 722.5 trillion VND of additional registered capital of enterprises that recorded upward adjustment of capital, the total additional registered capital in the economy in the first quarter of 2019 was 1,098 trillion VND. In addition, there were 15,050 re-operated enterprises, increasing by 78.1% compared to the same period last year, bringing the total number of newly registered enterprises and re-operated enterprises in the first quarter of 2019 to over 43.5 thousand enterprises. The total number of registered employees of newly established enterprises in the first quarter of 2019 were 317.6 thousand employees, grew up 40.9% over the same period last year.

By economic activities, in the first quarter of 2019, almost sectors witnessed an increase in the number of newly established enterprises over the same period last year, of which: there were 10.6 thousand newly established enterprises in the wholesale and retail, repair of automobiles and motorbike (accounting for 37.4% of the total newly established enterprises), going up by 15.4%; 3.8 thousand construction enterprises (accounting for 13.4%), a rise of 5.6%; 3.6 thousand manufacturing enterprises (accounting for 12.7%), an increase of 10.7%; 2.4 thousand enterprises in the science, technology, consultation service, designing, advertisement and others (accounting for 8.3%), rose by 17.3%; 1.7 thousand enterprises in the employment services, travel, renting and leasing of machinery, equipment and other support services (accounting for 5.9%), went up 3.9%; 1.5 thousand real estate enterprises (accounting for 5.4%), rising by 26.3% … The number of newly established enterprises reduced compared to the same period last year in some fields: there were 1.3 thousand enterprises in the accommodation and catering services (accounting for 4.5%), a downturn of 7.7%;  290 enterprises in the financial, banking and insurance activities (accounting for 1%), a fall of 14.2%; 128 enterprises in the mining and quarrying (accounting for 0.4%), a drop of 8.6% and 1 enterprise in the transport and storage, a decrease of  99%.

In the first quarter, almost economic regions recorded an increase in the newly registered enterprises compared to the same period last year: The Red River Delta had 8.6 thousand enterprises, an increase of 11.4% (the registered capital reached 85.7 trillion VND, shared 14.6%); North Central and Central Coast areas gained 4 thousand enterprises, rose by 8.7% (the registered capital was 37.3 trillion VND, made up 3.3%); Central Highlands had 753 enterprises, an upturn of 15% (the registered capital was 9.4 trillion VND, jumped up 129.3%); South East had 11.8 thousand enterprises, up 3.2% (registered capital of 217.1 trillion VND, a rise of 64.7%); Mekong River Delta had 2.1 thousand enterprises, a growth of 3% (the registered capital was 10.4 trillion VND, down 46.9%). Particularly, the Northern Midlands and Mountains areas had the number of newly established enterprises with 1.1 thousand enterprises, a downturn of 6.3% compared to the same period last year (registered capital of 15.6 trillion VND, went up 29%) .

In the first quarter of this year, the number of enterprises ceased for a certain period of time was 14,761 enterprises, rose by 20.8% compared to the same period last year. By economic activities, there were 5.8 thousand enterprises ceased for a certain period of time, particularly: in the wholesale and retail, repair of automobiles and motorbikes (accounting for 39.1%), a rise of 22% over the same period last year; 2.2 thousand construction enterprises (accounting for 14.6%), a rise of 15.5%; 1.8 thousand manufacturing enterprises (accounting for 12.3%), went up 16.7%; 906 enterprises in the science, technology, consultation service, designing, advertisement and others (accounting for 6.1%), a growth of 26.9%; 873 enterprises in the transportation and storage (accounting for 5.9%), an upturn of 21.1%; 724 enterprises in the accommodation and catering services (accounting for 4.9%), increasing by 15.7% … In the first quarter of this year, there were 15,331 enterprises temporarily ceased awaited dissolution, including 8,404 enterprises were revoked their business registration certificates under the 2018 data standardization program to eliminate the previously established enterprises but inactive in reality, accounting for 54.8% of the total of enterprises temporarily ceased  waited dissolution; the number of enterprises informed to be dissolved with 3,378 enterprises, accounting for 22% and 3,549 enterprises waited dissolution procedures, accounting for 23.2%.

In the first quarter of 2019, the number of enterprises completed dissolution procedures was 4,116 enterprises, increasing by 23.9% compared to the same period last year, of which 3,737 the enterprises with capital size of less than 10 billion VND (accounting for 90.8 % the number of enterprises completed dissolution procedures), went up 23%. Enterprises completed dissolution procedures mainly focused in the economic activities: wholesale and retail, repair of automobile and motorbike with 1.7 thousand enterprises (accounting for 42.4%), made up 32.8% compared to the same period last year; the manufacturing: 421 enterprises (accounting for 10.2%), down 2.8%; the construction activity: 401 enterprises (accounting for 9.7%), jumped up 23.4%.

        b) Business trends of enterprises

Results of the business trend of manufacturing enterprises in the first quarter of 2019 showed that 33.7% of enterprises assessed that the business production situation in the first quarter of this year was better than the previous quarter; 25.8% of enterprises faced difficulties and 40.5% of enterprises said that the business production situation was stable[13]. It is expected that in the second quarter of 2019, 54.6% of enterprises presented that the trend would get better; 10.6% of enterprises predicted that it would be more difficult and 34.8% of enterprises said that the business production situation would be stable. In which, the FDI sector was the most optimistic with 91.3% of enterprises forecasted a better the business production situation in the second quarter of 2019 and expected to remain stable; This rates in the state and non-state enterprises were 86.8% and 88.8%, respectively.

Among the main factors affecting the business production situation in the first quarter of 2019, 59.2% of enterprises believed that the high competitiveness of domestic goods was the most influential factor to the operation of enterprises; 45% of enterprises said that demand of domestic market was low; 31.5% of enterprises stated financial difficulties as main cause; 31.1% of enterprises blamed for not recruiting qualified employees; 28.1% of enterprises blamed for high interest rates and 22.3% of enterprises believed that high competitiveness of imported goods was an important factor.

Regarding production volume, 35.1% of enterprises point out production volume in the first quarter of 2019 increased compared to the previous quarter; 28% of enterprises reported that the production volume reduced and 36.9% of enterprises considered stable[14]. For the trend in the second quarter of 2019, 55.7% of enterprises forecasted an increase in production volume; 10.3% of enterprises forecasted a decrease and 34% of enterprises forecasted to have stable orders.

Regarding orders for goods, 31.5% of enterprises had more orders in the first quarter of 2019 than in the previous quarter; 25% of enterprises had fewer orders and 43.5% of enterprises recorded stable orders[15]. For the trend in quarter II/2019, 51% of enterprises expected an increase in orders; 9.6% of enterprises expected a decrease in orders to and 39.4% of enterprises expected to have stable orders.

Regarding export orders, 29% of enterprises had more export orders in the first quarter of 2019; 21.4% of enterprises experienced fewer export orders and 49.6% of enterprises kept export orders stable. The trend of quarter II/2019 had 43.3% of enterprises expected to have an increase in export orders; 10.2% of enterprises expected to decrease and 46.5% of enterprises expected to be stable.

  1. Service operation

Gross retail sales of goods and services in the first quarter of 2019 achieved a relatively high growth rate compared to the same period last year, reflecting a high demand for consumption in the first months of the year. International visitors to Viet Nam in the first quarter maintained a large number but revealed signs of deceleration compared to the same period last year.

       a) Retail sales of goods and services

Gross retail sales of goods and services in March 2019 – the month right after the Lunar New Year, was estimated at 392.2 trillion VND, climbing up by 0.9% over the previous month and 12.1% compared to the same period in 2018, in which: Retail sales of goods reached 301 trillion VND, going up by 0.8% and up by 13.6%; revenue from accommodation and catering services reached 46.7 trillion VND, up 1.5% and up 8.9%; revenue from travelling services reached 3.5 trillion VND, up 0.6% and up 16.7%; other services reached 41 trillion VND, an increase of 0.8% and of 5.5%, respectively. In the first quarter of 2019, gross retail sales of goods and services were estimated at 1,184.9 trillion VND, up 12% compared to the same period last year, if excluding price factor, the growth rate was 9% (8.9% in the same period in 2018).

By kinds of economic activity, retail sales of goods in the first quarter were estimated at 910.4 trillion VND, accounting for 76.8% of the total and rising quite well with an increase of 13.4% over the same period last year, in which: Food and foodstuff increased by 13.5%; household appliances, tools and equipment rose by 12.7%; garments jumped up by 12.1%; vehicles up by 12.9%; cultural and educational items up by 10.8%. Some localities achieved a good growth: Tra Vinh by 18.2%; Phu Tho by 17.2%; Long An by 17.1%; Quang Nam by 15.8%; Binh Duong by 15.4%; Hai Phong by 14.4%; Ha Tinh by 13.9%; Bac Ninh by 13.6%; Ho Chi Minh City by 13.5%; and Hanoi by 12.8%.

Revenue from accommodation and catering services in the first quarter was estimated at 140 trillion VND, accounting for 11.8% of the total and increasing by 9.2% over the same period last year, of which Hai Phong’s revenue increased by 15,6%; Can Tho by 13.7%; Khanh Hoa by 12.7%; Ho Chi Minh City by 11.1%; and Ha Noi 9.1%.

Revenue from traveling services in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated at 11.3 trillion VND, accounting for 1% of the total and increasing by 12.8% over the same period last year, of which Binh Dinh increased by 22.6%; Quang Ninh climbed up by 18.4%; Ha Tinh and Binh Duong both rose by 17.3%; Khanh Hoa jumped up by 16.1%; Ba Ria – Vung Tau went up by 13.8%; Can Tho accelerated by 11%; Ho Chi Minh City soared by 8.6%; and Ha Noi increased by 6%.

The sales of other services in the first quarter was estimated at 123.2 trillion VND, accounting for 10.4% of the total and increasing 5.1% over the same period in 2018, of which Quang Ninh increased by 15.6%; Khanh Hoa soared by 14.3%; Da Nang accelerated by 13.6%; Ha Nam expanded by 9.5%; Ho Chi Minh City increased by 6.5%; and Ha Noi rose by 5.1%

        b) Transportation and telecommunication

Passenger carriage in March was estimated at 414.3 million passengers, a growth of 0.1% over the previous month and 18.8 billion passengers-kilometers, a rise of 0.6%. Generally for the first 3 months of the year, passenger carriage reached 1.237 million passengers, an increase of 10.8% over the same period last year and 55.7 billion passengers.km, an increase of 10%, of which domestic transportation reached 1,232.6 million passengers, up 10.8% and 43.7 billion passengers.km, up 10.9%; overseas transportation reached 4.4 million passengers, an increase of 7.6% and 12 billion passengers-kilometers, an increase of 6.8%. By types of transport, passengers carried by the road reached 1,168.5 million passengers, an increase of 10.9% and 39 billion passengers-kilometers, an increase of 10.4%; by inland waterways gained 51.6 million passengers, an increase of 9.9% and 997.1 million passengers.km, an increase of 7%; by seaway reached 1.9 million passengers, up 8.1% and 116.1 million passengers.km, up 9.1%; by airway transport reached 12.9 million passengers, an increase of 9% and 14.6 billion passengers-kilometers, an increase of 10.2%. Particularly by railway transport reached 2.1 million passengers, a decline of 6.1% over the same period last year and 0.9 billion passengers.km, a drop of 4.8%.

Cargo carriage in March was estimated at 134.3 million tons, up 0.5% from the previous month and 25.6 billion tons-kilometers, up 1.2%. Generally for 3 months, cargo carriage reached 412.2 million tons, up 8.6% over the same period last year and 78.1 billion tons.km, up 6.5%, of which domestic transportation reached 404 million tons, up 8.7% and 44.2 billion tons.km, up 9.7%; overseas transportation reached 8.2 million tons, up 1.5% and 33.9 billion tons.km, up 2.5%. By types of transport, cargo carriage by roads reached 317.5 million tons, up 9.3% over the same period last year and 21.2 billion tons-kilometers, up 8.9%; by inland waterways gained 73.4 million tons, up 6.3% and 15.4 billion tons.km, up 5.4%; by seaway ​​reached 19.9 million tons, up 6.4% and 40.4 billion tons.km, up 6%; by railways reached 1.3 million tons, down 7.9% and 0.8 billion tons.km, down 9.9%; by airway reached 80.3 thousand tons, up 8.5% and 201.7 million tons.km, up 9.1%.

Revenue from telecommunications activities in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated at 104 trillion VND, up 7.5% over the same period last year. As of the end of March 2019, the total number of telephone subscribers was estimated at 135.3 million, up 4.1% over the same period last year, of which the number of mobile subscribers was 131.1 million, up 6.1%; subscribers of fixed broadband internet were estimated at 13.9 million, up 15.8%.

         c) International visitors to Viet Nam

International visitors to Vietnam in March were estimated at 1,410.2 thousand persons, a decline of 11.2% over the previous month and 5% over the same period last year, of which visitors from Asia increased by 3.6%; from Europe rose by 9.4%; from Australia jumped up by 7%; from America climbed up by 10.5%; from Africa expanded by 3.4%. During the month, there were some activities attracting great attention of foreign visitors such as Ban Flower Festival 2019, International Tourism Fair VITM, free tours for international reporters working at the DPRK – USA Summit. The good organization of logistics for this Summit had great significance in promoting Viet Nam image to international friends.

Generally for the first quarter of 2019, international visitors to Viet Nam were estimated at 4,500.1 thousand, increasing by 7% over the same period last year, of which arrivals by airway were 3,516.3 thousand, increasing by 4.5%; by road reached 908.8 thousand persons, an increase of 26.2%; by seaway reached 75 thousand persons, a decline of 37.4%.

In the first 3 months in 2019, international visitors to Viet Nam from Asia reached 3,390.4 thousand persons, an increase of 7.5% over the same period last year, of which China was still a country with the largest number of visitors to Viet Nam with 1,281.1 thousand persons, accounting for 37.8% of the total number of Asian visitors but tended to decrease in comparison to the same period last year (down 5.6%); South Korea: 1,107.8 thousand persons, up 24.1%; Japan: 233.4 thousand persons, up 8.3%; Taiwan: 207.1 thousand persons, an increase of 26%; Malaysia: 143.6 thousand persons, an increase of 11.1%; Thailand: 124.6 thousand persons, an increase of 49.3%; Singapore 68.3 thousand persons, an increase of 0.7%.

Visitors from Europe were estimated at 685.2 thousand persons, up 6.1% over the same period last year, of which: visitors from the Russian Federation 215.6 thousand, up 6.2%; United Kingdom 89.9 thousand, up 4.7%; France 87.3 thousand, increasing by 4.1%; Germany 72.2 thousand, up 6.2%; Sweden 28 thousand, up 10.4%; Italy 22.9 thousand, an increase of 10.3%; the Netherlands 20.7 thousand, up 5.4%.

Visitors from the Americas reached 293.5 thousand persons, an increase of 6.3% compared to the same period last year, of which visitors from the United States reached 219.7 thousand, an increase of 7.9%. Visitors from Oceania achieved 119.3 thousand, an increase of 0.2%, of which visitors from Australia reached 108.5 thousand, equal to the same period last year. Visitors from Africa reached 11.7 thousand, increasing by 5.7% compared to the same period in 2018.

     II. MACROCECONOMICS STABILIZATION AND INFLATION CONTROL

  1. Banking, insurance activities

As of 20th March, 2019, the total payment facilities increased by 2.54% compared to the end of 2018 (same period in 2018 was a rise of 3.23%); capital mobilization of credit institutions increased by 1.72% (same period in 2018 was an increase of 2.2%); credit growth of the economy reached 1.9% (same period in 2018 was an increase of 2.23%).

Some commercial banks showed moves to raise mobilized interest rates of medium term and long term in order to restructure the mobilized capital under request of the State Bank of Vietnam. The mobilizing interest rate of VND was popular at 0.5% -1% per year for less-than-1-month term deposits; at 4.5% -5.5% per year for 1-month-to-less than 6 month term deposits; at 5.5% -6.5% per year for 6-month-to-less-than-12-month-term deposits; at 6.6% -7.3% per year for deposits with over-12-month term. The lending interest rate for VND was about 6% -9% per year for short term and 9% -11% per year for medium and long term. Credit structure continued to focus on priority business production sectors, key projects in line with the Government’s policy in order to effectively support for economic growth.

Insurance market in the first 3 months of 2019 maintained a positive growth. Insurance revenue in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated to increase by 17% compared to the same period of 2018, in which the revenue of life insurance premium increases by 23%; non-life insurance premiums climbed up 9% .

  1. Investment

In the first quarter of 2019, the implementation and disbursement of investment mainly focused on the completion of allocation the early year estimate in public investment and speeded up progress of key transitional sites and projects. The realize investment in the first quarter of 2019 at current prices reached 359.2 trillion VND, increasing by 8.8% over the same period last year and equaling 32.2% of the GDP, including: State sector reached 106.8 trillion VND, accounting for 29.7% of the total capital and increasing by 3.5% over the same period last year; non-state sector reached 158 trillion VND, accounting for 44% and increasing by 13.6%; FDI sector reached 94.4 trillion VND, accounting for 26.3% and rising by 7.5%.

The growth rate of the realized investment

first quarters of 2017-2019 in comparison with same periods of the previous year

(At current prices)

%

I quarter
2017
I quarter      2018 I quarter      2019
Total109.5110.0108.8
State sector105.3103.0103.5
Non-State sector115.0117.2113.6
FDI sector107.1108.1107.5

 

In the investment of the State sector, the capital from the State budget in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated at 50.8 trillion VND, equaling to 14.7% of the yearly plan and increasing by 3.2% compared to the first quarter of 2018 (the rates in the same period of the previous year were 14% and 10.3%, respectively), including:

– The capital under central management reached 6.3 trillion VND, equaling 13.7% of the yearly plan and going down 30.5% over the same period of previous year, of which the investment of the Ministry of Transportation recorded at 1,314 billion VND, equaling 17.9% and decreasing by 58.5%; Ministry of Health: 614 billion VND, equaling 11.6% and rising by 22.9%; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: 372 billion VND, equaling 11.3% and falling down 55.8%; Ministry of Education and Training:159 billion VND, equaling 12.4% and rising by 1.5%; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment: 142 billion VND, equaling 10.8% and reducing 22.6%; Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism: 101 billion VND, equaling 13.5% and decreasing by 11.8%; Ministry of Science and Technology: 43 billion VND, equaling 14.1% and increasing by 46.3%; Ministry of Construction: 34 billion VND, equaling 13.8% and falling down 1.3%; Ministry of Industry and Trade 30 billion VND, equaling 12.2% and decreasing 5.9%; Ministry of Information and Communications 20 billion VND, equaling to 12.5% ​​and growing by 21.5%.

– The capital under local management gained 44.5 trillion VND, equaling 14.9% of the yearly plan and rising by 10.9% over the same period in 2018, of which: State budget capital at provincial level reached 30.2 trillion VND, equaling 14.3% of the yearly plan and growing up 10.6%; the State budget capital at district level reached 11.9 trillion VND, equaling 15.7% and increasing by 11.5%; the State budget capital at commune level achieved at 2.4 trillion VND, equaling 19.2% and jumping up by 12.5%. The realized investment from the State budget of some provinces and cities directly under the Central Government was as follows: Ha Noi reached 6,691 billion VND, equaling 13.5% of the yearly plan and rising by 17.1% over the same period last year; Ho Chi Minh City: 3,012 billion VND, equaling 8.2% and rising by 22.4%; Thanh Hoa: 1,649 billion VND, equaling 21.1% and increasing by 17.3%; Ba Ria – Vung Tau: 1,479 billion VND, equaling 22.4% and increasing by 17.9%; Quang Ninh: 1,373 billion VND, equaling 11.9% and rising by 30.7%; Quang Nam: 1,315 billion VND, equaling 17.7% and climbing up 12.6%; Nghe An: 1,291 billion VND, equaling 23.5% and going down 1%; Vinh Phuc: 1,265 billion VND, equaling 20.3% and expanding by 1.4%; Hai Phong: 1,205 billion VND, equaling 13.3% and increasing by 4%.

Foreign direct investment from the beginning of the year to 20th March, 2019 attracted 785 newly licensed projects with a registered capital of 3,821.4 million USD, an increase of 27% in number of projects and an increase of 80.1 % of registered capital compared to the same period in 2018. Besides, 279 projects that were licensed from previous years registered to adjust investment capital with an additional capital of 1,298.4 million USD, reducing 27, 5% compared to the same period in 2018. Thus, the total newly registered and additional capital in 3 months gained 5,119.8 million USD, expanding by 30.9% over same period of last year. Foreign direct investment in 3 months was estimated at 4,120 million USD, rising by 6.2% over the same period in 2018. In the first 3 months of 2019, there were 1,653 turns of capital contribution and share purchases of foreign investors with a total capital contribution of 5.69 billion USD, an increase of three times compared to the same period in 2018, of which 588 turns of capital contribution, share purchases increased the charter capital of the enterprise with the capital contribution of 4.79 billion USD and 1,065 turns of foreign investors repurchased domestic shares without increasing charter capital with the value of 0.9 billion USD.

In 3 months, the manufacturing activity attracted the largest foreign direct investment with the registered capital of newly licensed projects reaching 2,876.5 million USD, accounting for 75.3% of the total registered capital; real estate activities reached 497.7 million USD, accounting for 13%; other sectors reached 447.2 million USD, accounting for 11.7%. If including the additional registered capital of licensed projects from previous years, foreign direct investment in manufacturing activity in the first 3 months of this year recorded at 4,026.2 million USD, accounting for 78.6% of the total registered capital; real estate activities reached 505.6 million USD, accounting for 9.9%; other sectors gained 588 million USD, accounting for 11.5%. For capital contribution, share purchases of foreign investors, investment in manufacturing activity witnessed 4,372.2 million USD, accounting for 76.9% of the total value of capital contribution; professional, science and technology activities reached 302.7 million USD, accounting for 5.3%; other sectors reached 1,010.8 million USD, accounting for 17.8%.

In the whole country, there were 39 provinces and centrally-run cities that had newly licensed foreign direct investment projects in the first 3 months of the year, of which Bac Ninh had the largest registered capital with 455.7 million USD, accounting for 11.9% of total newly registered capital; followed by Binh Duong with 329.6 million USD, accounting for 8.6%; Ho Chi Minh City: 288.8 million USD, accounting for 7.6%; Da Nang: 249.8 million USD, accounting for 6.5%; Hai Duong: 236 million USD, accounting for 6.2%; Hai Phong: 223.2 million USD, accounting for 5.8%; Tien Giang: 214.4 million USD, accounting for 5.6%.

Among 42 countries and territories had newly licensed investment projects in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2019, China was the largest investor with 723.2 million USD, accounting for 18.9% of total registered capital; followed by Singapore with 690.8 million USD, accounting for 18.1%[16]; South Korea: 547.3 million USD, accounting for 14.3%; Japan: 471.5 million USD, accounting for 12.3%; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China): 456.4 million USD, accounting for 11.9%; British Virgin Islands: 207.3 million USD, accounting for 5.4%; Taiwan: 197.5 million USD, accounting for 5.2%.

Vietnam’s outward investment in the first quarter of 2019 had 24 new projects granted investment certificates with the total capital of 80.4 million USD; 8 capital adjusted projects with an additional capital of 39.6 million USD. In general, the total outward investment of Viet Nam (newly licensed and supplementary capital) in the first quarter of this year reached 120 million USD, of which the professional, science and technology activities reached 67.8 million USD, accounting for 56.5% of total investment; financial, banking and insurance activities reached 36.1 million USD, accounting for 30.1%; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles with 10.7 million USD, accounting for 8.9%. In the first quarter of 2019, Vietnam outward invested in  18 countries and territories, of which Spain was the leading with 59.8 million USD, accounting for 49.9% of the total investment capital[17]; followed by Cambodia with 37.9 million USD, accounting for 31.6%; United States: 11 million USD, accounting for 9.2%; China: 3 million USD, accounting for 2.5%; Malta: 2.3 million USD, accounting for 1.9%; Australia: 1.5 million USD, accounting for 1.2%; Japan: 1 million USD, accounting for 0.9% …

  1. State budget Revenue and Expenditure

The state budget revenue from the beginning of the year to March 15, 2019 was estimated at 278.6 trillion VND, equaling 19.7% of the yearly estimate, of which domestic revenue reached 221.7 trillion VND, accounting for 18. 9%; crude oil revenue was 9.9 trillion VND, equaling 22.3%; budget balance revenue from import and export gained 47 trillion VND, equaling 24.9%. In domestic revenue, state-owned enterprises reached 30 trillion VND, equaling 16.9% of the yearly estimate; FDI enterprises (excluding crude oil) was 42.7 trillion VND, equaling 20%; taxes on trade and non-state services reached 51 trillion VND, equaling 21.1%; personal income tax revenue reached 24.8 trillion VND, equaling 21.9%; environmental protection tax recorded 8.3 trillion VND, equaling 12%; land use fee was 20.5 trillion VND, equaling 22.7%.

The state budget expenditure from the beginning of the year to March 15, 2019 was estimated at 254.5 trillion VND, equaling 15.6% of the yearly estimate, of which recurrent expenditure reached 192.7 trillion VND, making up 19.3%; development investment expenditure was 33.5 trillion VND, equaling 7.8%; interest payment was 27.7 trillion VND, accounting for 22.2%.

  1. Export and import of goods and services

Export of goods in the first quarter of 2019 still maintained the growth rate over the same period last year, increased slowly (by 4.7%), of which: the domestic economic sector increased by 9.7%; FDI sector rose by 2.7%. Remarkably, export turnover of many main agricultural and fishery products reduced over the same period last year. The trade balance of goods in the first quarter of 2019 saw an estimated surplus of 536 million USD, much lower than the figure of 2.7 billion USD of the same period in 2018.

       a) Export of goods

Export turnover in February 2019 reached 13,905 million USD, 695 million USD lower than the estimated figure, of which: crude oil was 308 million USD; textiles were 292 million USD; means of transport and spare parts were 59 million USD; machinery, instrument and accessory were 55 million USD; footwear was 46 million USD lower than estimated.

Export turnover in March 2019 was estimated at 22.40 billion USD, up 61.1% over the previous month[18], of which: the domestic economic sector reached 6.23 billion USD, up 69.9%; FDI sector (including crude oil) reached 16.17 billion USD, up 57.9%. Turnover of most of the exported goods in March increased compared to the previous month: Wood and wooden products soared by 124.4%; rice surged up 119.4%; textiles and garments increased by 106.4%; seafood rose by 69%; footwear increased by 58.1%; phones and their parts climbed up by 53.1%; electronic goods, computers and their parts increased by 52.6%; crude oil rose by 51.7%. Compared to the same period last year, export turnover in March increased by 5.4%, of which: the domestic economic sector increased by 7.7%, the FDI sector (including crude oil) rose by 4.5%. Turnover of some products increased: Wood and wooden products increased by 23.6%; electronic goods, computers and their parts increased by 19.9%; textiles and garments rose by 15.9%; means of transport and spare parts climbed up by 15.7%; footwear increased by 13.2%.

Generally in the first quarter of 2019, export turnover was estimated at 58.51 billion USD, an increase of 4.7% over the same period in 2018, of which: the domestic economic sector reached 17.05 billion USD, an increase of 9.7%, accounting for 29.1% of total export turnover; FDI sector (including crude oil) reached 41.46 billion USD, growing by 2.7%, accounting for 70.9%.

In the first quarter, export value of 9 products reached over 1 billion USD, accounting for 70.8% of the total export turnover, of which: some goods increased value over the same period last year: textiles and garments reached 7.3 billion USD, up 13.3%; electronic goods, computers and their parts reached 6.9 billion USD, an increase of 9.3%; footwear gained 4 billion USD, up 15.3%; machinery, instrument and accessory reached 3.9 billion USD, up 5.2%; wood and wooden products reached 2.3 billion USD, up 17%; means of transport and spare parts reached 2.2 billion USD, up 7.6%; iron and steel gained 1.1 billion USD, up 3.6%. Although export turnover of phone and their parts reached the largest value of 12.1 billion USD, accounting for 20.6% of the total export turnover, it decreased by 4.3% compared to the same period last year; fishery products reached 1.7 billion USD, down 1.4%. In general, the export proportion of some main products still belonged to the FDI sector, of which: Phones and their parts accounted for 97.1%; electronic goods, computers and their parts shared 90.8%; footwear contributed 77.2%; textiles and garments accounted for 59.3%. Export turnover of some agricultural products in the first quarter of this year decreased compared to the same period last year: Vegetables reached 885 million USD, down 8.6%; coffee gained 830 million USD, down 23.8% (volume decreased by 15.3%); cashew nuts reached 625 million USD, down 17.2% (volume increased by 4.7%); rice reached 567 million USD, down 23.6% (volume decreased by 11.5%); pepper gained 189 million USD, down 14.7% (volume increased by 18.5%). Particularly, export turnover of rubber in the first 3 months of the year achieved 458 million USD, up 17.8% over the same period last year (volume increased by 32%).

Regarding the structure of export commodities in the first quarter of 2019, the group of heavy industrial products and minerals were estimated at 29.4 billion USD, rising up 2.2% over the same period last year; accounting for 50.3% of total export turnover (going down by 1.2 percentage points compared to the same period in 2018), of which: phones and their parts reached 12.1 billion USD, edging down by 4.3% and accounting for 20.6%. The group of light industrial and handicraft products was estimated at 21.2 billion USD, rising by 6.7% and accounting for 36.2% (increasing by 0.7 percentage points). The group of agricultural and forestry products reached 6.1 billion USD, climbing up 12.3% and sharing 10.5% (increasing by 0.7 percentage points). Fishery products reached 1.7 billion USD, going down by 1.4% and contributing 3% (going down by 0.2 percentage points).

Regarding export goods market in the first quarter of 2019, the United States was the largest export market of Viet Nam with a turnover of 13 billion USD, up 26 % compared to the same period last year, of which: phones and their parts increased by 76.9%; textiles and garments rose by 12.3%; footwear grew by 8.9%. The following was the EU market with 10.2 billion USD, up 2.5%, of which: electronic goods, computers and their parts increased by 13.5%; textiles and garments rose by 9.8%; footwear grew by 9.7%. China reached 7.6 billion USD, down 7.4%, of which: electronic goods, computers and their parts fell by 2.1%; vegetables and fruits reduced by 10.8%; phones and their parts decreased by 69.1%. ASEAN market reached 6.3 billion USD, up 6%, of which: textiles and garments increased by 40.5%; iron and steel rose by 8.3%. Japan gained 4.7 billion USD, up 9.4%, of which: electronic goods, computers and their parts increased by 31.9%; textiles and garments rose by 7.4%. South Korea attained 4.7 billion USD, up 7.7%, of which: phones and their parts increased by 20.1%; electronic goods, computers and their parts rose by 14%; textiles and garments grew by 6.4%.

         b) Import of goods

Import turnover in February 2019 reached 14,674 million USD, 826 million USD lower than the estimated figure, of which: electronic goods, computers and their parts were 204 million USD lower; phones and their parts were 235 million USD lower; fabric were 270 million USD lower than estimated.

Import turnover in March was estimated at 21.8 billion USD, up 48.6% over the previous month, of which: the domestic economic sector gained 9.1 billion USD, up 57.5%; FDI sector gained 12.7 billion USD, up 42.8%. Import turnover of most products increased compared to the previous month: Petroleum increased by 75.8%; wood and wooden products by 75.1%; fabric rose by 66.8%; iron and steel grew by 66.2%; machinery, instrument and accessory increased by 52.9%; phones and their parts grew by 50.3%; electronic goods, computers and their parts increased by 31.5%. Compared to the same period in 2018, import turnover in March increased by 14.7%, of which: the domestic economic sector rose by 10.1%; the FDI sector achieved a quite high growth rate of 21.7%. Some products had high turnover compared to the same period last year: Cars rose by 59.2%; iron and steel increased by 23.3%; electronic goods, computers and their parts grew by 19.1%; machinery, instrument and accessory increased by 17.5%.

Generally for the first quarter of 2019, import turnover was estimated at 57.98 billion USD, up 8.9% compared to the same period in 2018, of which: the domestic economic sector achieved 24.09 billion USD, up 13.4%; FDI sector reached 33.89 billion USD, up 6%.

In the first quarter, 13 imported products reached over 1 billion USD, accounting for 69.5 % of the total import turnover, of which: some products increased compared to the same period last year: Electronic goods, computer and their parts reached 11,7 billion USD (accounting for 20.2 % of total import turnover), up 12.2% over the same period last year; machinery, instrument and accessory gained 8.7 billion USD, up 15.1%; fabric reached 2.8 billion USD, up 6.4%; iron and steel achieved 2.3 billion USD, up 4.1%; plastics gained 2.2 billion USD, up 4.1%; phone and their parts reached 1.8 billion USD, up 103.7%; plastic products gained 1.5 billion USD, up 7.8%; materials for textile, garment and footwear reached 1.4 billion USD, up 8.8%; chemicals attained 1.2 billion USD, up 7%; chemical products reached 1.2 billion USD, up 3.5%. Besides, some products decreased in turnover compared to the same period in 2018: Phone and their parts reached 2.8 billion USD, down 15.4%; metals gained 1.5 billion USD, down 11%; petroleum reached 1.2 billion USD, down 47.6%.

Regarding the structure of import of goods in the first quarter, the group of capital goods was estimated at 53.1 billion USD, going up by 8.6% over the same period last year and accounting for 91.6% of the total import turnover (decreased by 0.3 percentage points compared to the same period in 2018), of which the group of machinery, instrument and accessory reached 25.6 billion USD, increased by 10.5% and accounted for 44.1% (up 0.6 percentage points); group of raw materials and fuel reached 27.5 billion USD, rising by 6.9% and sharing 47.5% (down 0.9 percentage points). Consumer goods were estimated at 4.9 billion USD, increasing by 12.5% ​​and accounting for 8.4% (up 0.3 percentage points).

Regarding the import goods market in the first quarter, China was still the largest import market of Vietnam with a turnover of 15 billion USD, up 9.7% compared to the same period last year, of which: electronic goods, computers and their parts increased by 49%; machinery, instrument and their parts rose by 18.4%; fabric grew by 7.1%. The following was the Korean market with 11.8 billion USD, growing by 1.1%, of which: machinery, instrument and accessory increased by 11.4%; phones and their parts rose by 6.2%; iron and steel grew by 5.9%. ASEAN market reached 8.2 billion USD, up 10.1%, of which: CBU cars soared by 750.9%; iron and steel surged up by 218.7%; machinery, instrument and accessory increased by 18%. Japan gained 4.7 billion USD, up 5.6%, of which: fabric increased by 29.3%; machinery, instrument and accessory rose by 13%; electronic goods, computers and their parts grew by 6.5%. EU market attained 3.6 billion UDS, up 18.7%, of which: CBU cars rose by 840.8%; machinery, instrument and accessory grew by 32.1%. The United States reached 3 billion USD, up 11.8%, of which: animal feed and raw materials increased by 38.8%; electronic goods, computers and their parts rose by 10.7%.

The trade balance of goods in February saw a trade deficit of 768 million USD[19]; estimated export surplus in March reached 600 million USD. In general, the first quarter of 2019 continued to witness a trade surplus of 536 million USD[20] (trade surplus in the same period last year was 2.7 billion USD), of which: the domestic economic sector saw a trade deficit of 7.04 billion USD; FDI sector (including crude oil) witnessed a trade surplus of 7.57 billion USD.

        c) Export and import of services

In the first quarter of 2019, the export turnover of services was estimated at 4.1 billion USD, up 5.7% compared to the same period in 2018, of which: tourism services reached 3 billion USD (accounting for 71.2% of the total turnover), up 7.3%; transportation services gained 741 million USD (accounting for 17.9%), up 1.5%. Import turnover of services in the first quarter was estimated at 4.6 billion USD, up 6.3% over the same period last year, of which: transportation services reached 2.2 billion USD (sharing 47.5% of total turnover), up 8%; tourism services gained 1.4 billion USD (contributing 31.6%), up 6.7%. Service trade deficit in the first quarter of 2019 was 405 million USD, equaling 9.8% of service export turnover.

  1. Price indices

Consumer price index (CPI) in March 2019 decreased by 0.21% compared to the previous month, in the first quarter of 2019, on average, CPI rose 2.63% compared to the same period in 2018, the lowest increase in the first quarter of the last 3 years, mainly due to seasonal impact of consumption after the Lunar New Year, influence of African swine fever occurred in many localities across the country, especially thanks to active adjustments for petrol and oil prices, consistency of flexible monetary policy to maintain macroeconomic stability of the Government.

       a) Consumer price index

CPI in March 2019 decreased by 0.21% over the previous month, of which price indexes of 7 per 11 major commodity and service groups decreased. The group of food and catering services fell the most with 1.42% (food decreased by 0.55%[21]; foodstuff dropped 1.97%[22]), making the overall CPI decline 0.51%, mainly due to lower consumption demand after Tet holiday and impact of African swine fever. The group of garment, hats and footwear decreased by 0.17%; culture, entertainment and tourism went down 0.09%; beverages and tobacco products decreased 0.08%; post and telecommunication fell 0.07%; other goods and services dropped 0.04%; household equipment and goods declined 0.03%. Other groups of goods and services with an increase in price index included: the group of transportation increased by 2.22% due to the impact of an upward adjustment of petrol and oil prices as of 2nd March, 2019 (making CPI increase 0.23%); housing and construction materials increased by 0.78% mainly due to an increase of 4.88% in gas prices in the month; medicine and health services went up 0.03%; education increased by 0.01%.

Average CPI in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 2.63% compared to the same period of 2018, the lowest increase in the first quarter of the last 3 years[23]; CPI in March 2019 increased by 0.69% compared to December 2018 and rose 2.7% compared to the same period in 2018. The first quarter CPI expanded over the same period last year due to some main reasons: (i) Demand for food and foodstuff in the first months of the year increased compared to the same period last year[24]; (ii) Prices of public transport services grew 3.75%; prices of housing maintenance materials rose 1.85% (making overall CPI decrease by 0.03%); (iii) package tour prices went up 5.2%, and prices of some essential goods increased again such as prices of fuel, iron, steel, etc.

In addition to the reasons for increasing CPI in the first quarter of 2019, there were some factors contributing to curb CPI: (i) Petrol and oil prices were adjusted downwards as petrol and oil price indexes decreased by 8.22% (making CPI decline 0.34%[25]); (ii) Gas prices were adjusted according to world prices caused domestic gas prices to fall 2.15% (leading CPI to decline 0.03%); (iii) Prices of the education group were adjusted to reduce tuition fees according to Resolution No. 25/2018/NQ-HĐND dated 7th December, 2018 of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council, contributing to the overall CPI reduction of 0.55 %.

Core inflation in March 2019 decreased by 0.06% over the previous month and rose 1.84% over the same period last year. Average core inflation in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 1.83% compared to the same period last year.

        b) Gold and USA dollar price indices

Domestic gold prices fluctuated in line with world gold prices. Gold price index in March 2019 decreased 0.49% compared to the previous month; increased 3.3% compared to December 2018 and declined 0.3% over the same period last year. USD price index in March 2019 increased by 0.05% over the previous month; decreased 0.44% compared to December 2018 and increased 2.02% compared to the same period in 2018.

       c) Producer price indices

Input producer price index in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 0.19% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and rose 2.60% over the same period last year, of which the input producer price index used for agricultural, forestry and fishery decreased by 0.94% but increased by 5.94%; for manufacturing increased by 0.45% and 2.56%; for construction decreased by 0.54% and increased by 2.72%.

Producer price index used for the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 0.43% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 3.60% compared to the same period last year, of which the producer price index for agriculture decreased by 0.17% and increased by 4.06%; for forestry increased by 1.55% and 4.33%; for fishery increased by 2.15% and 2.16%.

Producer price index used for the industry sector in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.54% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 1.45% over the same period last year, of which the producer price index for mining and quarrying decreased by 6.77 % and 2.58%; for manufacturing decreased by 0.34% but increased by 1.31%; for electricity, gas, hot water, steam and air conditioning decreased by 0.18% but increased by 3.39%; for water supply, waste and sewerage management and remediation increased by 1.23% and 3.16%.

Producer price index used for the service sector in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 0.79% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 2.86% compared to the same period last year, of which the producer price index for transport and storage services rose 1.1% and 4.32%; for accommodation and catering services increased by 1.30% and 2.67%; for information and communication increased by 0.06% and 0.43%; for education and training decreased by 0.04% but increased by 7.71%; for health and social services increased by 1.85% and 0.85%.

         d) Merchandise export and import price indices

Merchandise export price index in the first quarter of 2019 increased 3.63% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased 2.88% compared to the same period last year, of which the merchandise export price index for agricultural products and foodstuffs increased by 0.88 % but decreased by 0.07%; for fuel group decreased by 2.97% and increased by 11.18%; for other manufactured goods increased by 4.29% and 3.01%. The merchandise export price index in the first quarter of some items: Seafood increased by 1.71% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 1.87% compared to the same period last year; coal increased by 0.32% and 3.11%; computers, electronic products and components increased by 0.99% and 2.73%; mobile phones and mobile devices increased by 18.12% and 10.12%.

Merchandise import price index in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.27% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 1.06% compared to the same period last year, of which the merchandise import price index for agricultural products and foodstuffs decreased by 0.65% and 0.38%; for fuel group decreased by 5.4% and increased by 5.13%; for other manufactured goods increased by 0.01% and 0.94%. The merchandise import price index in the first quarter of some items: Petrol and oil decreased by 5.49% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 9.76% compared to the same period last year; wood and articles of wood decreased by 0.27% and increased by 0.21%; iron and steel decreased by 0.63% and increased by 5.50%; phones and accessories increased by 2.15% and 2.44%.

Merchandise term of trade[26] in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 3.91% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and increased by 1.81% compared to the same period last year, of which the Merchandise term of trade of gasoline increased by 4.55% and 2.29%; seafood increased by 4.37% and 6.50%; iron and steel increased by 1.16% and decreased by 0.04%; computers, electronic devices and components increased by 1.36% and 1.90%; vegetables and fruits decreased by 0.21% and 1.74%.

      III. SOCIAL ISSUES

  1. Labor and employment

In Q1 2019, the labor force aged 15 years and over of the whole country was estimated at 55.4 million persons, a decrease of 207 thousand persons compared to previous quarter due to long Tet holidays and increased by 331.9 thousand persons compared to the corresponding period of the preceding year, in which the number of male employees was 29 million persons, accounted for 52.3%, the number of female employees was 26.4 million persons, made up 47.7%. The employed population aged 15 years and over working in urban and rural area was 18.5 million persons and 36.9 million persons, respectively with the corresponding share of 33.3% and 66.7% In Q1 2019, labor force participation rate was estimated at 76.6%, fell by 0.6 percentage points compared to the previous quarter and dropped 0.13 percentage points compared the corresponding period of the preceding year. In Q1 2019, labor force in working age was estimated at 48.8 million persons, a decrease of 96.4 thousand persons compared to previous quarter and increased by 444.2 thousand persons compared to the corresponding period of the preceding year, in which male employees was 26.6 million persons, accounted for 54.4%, female employees was 22.2 million persons, accounted for 45.6%; employees in urban and rural area was 16.9 million persons and 31.9 million persons, respectively with the corresponding share of 34.7% and 65.3%.

In Q1 2019, the employed population aged 15 years and over was estimated at 54.3 million persons, of which employees of the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector were 19.2 million, made up 35.4% of the total employed population; the industry and construction sector was 15.6 million persons, the corresponding share of 28.6%; and the service sector was 19.5 million persons, with the corresponding share of 36%.

Unemployment rate nationwide in Q1 2019 was estimated at 2.0%, of which unemployment rate in urban and rural was 2.95% and 1.52%, respectively. In Q1 2019, unemployment rate of labor force in working age was estimated at 2.17%, of which unemployment rate of labor force in working age in urban and rural was 3.11% and 1.67%, respectively[27]. The youth unemployment rate (aged 15 to 24) in Q1 2019 was estimated at 6.27%, of which urban and rural was 10.49% and 4.64%, respectively.

Underemployment rate at working age in Q1 2019 was estimated at 1.21%, of which underemployment rate in urban and rural area was 0.60% and 1.53%, respectively (the corresponding figures for Q1 2018 were 1.52%; 0.63% and 1.96%).

Percentage of employment in the informal economy in non-agricultural activities[28] in Q1 2019 was estimated at 54.3%, of which urban and rural area was 45.9% and 61.3%, respectively (corresponding figures in Q1 2018 were 56.3%; 47.9% and 63.3%).

In Q1 2019, average monthly earnings of wage workers was estimated at 6.9 million VND, an increase of nearly 967 thousand VND compared to previous quarter and rose 1.05 million VND compared to the corresponding period of the preceding year, of which average monthly earnings of wage male workers was 7.3 million VND, female workers was 6.5 million VND, urban workers was 8.2 million VND, rural workers was 6.0 million VND.

Average monthly earnings of wage workers of the occupational group of “leaders, managers and administrators of branches, levels and organizations” was 11.2 million VND, an increase of nearly 2 million compared to the same period last year; the group “professionals” was 9.4 million VND, an increase of nearly 1.4 million; The group “elementary occupations” was 4.8 million VND, an increase of 844 thousand VND.

Average monthly earnings of wage workers with university level or higher was nearly 13.5 million VND, an increase of 2.6 million compared to the same period last year; those who uncompleted primary education earned 5.1 million VND; those who had never attended school got 4.3 million VND.

Average monthly earnings of wage workers who attained at least 3 years of seniority were 7.4 million VND; from 1 to under 3 years of seniority was 6.2 million VND; under 1 month was 3.3 million VND.

  1. Living standards and social security

People’s life in the first months of 2019 was generally stable, food shortage among farmers significantly decreased compared to the same period in 2018 According to preliminary reports, in Q1 2019, the whole country witnessed 28.5 thousand the thousand households suffering from food shortage a year on year fall of 38.3%, corresponding to 105.3 thousand persons suffering from food shortage, declined by 39.2%. In order to overcome food shortage, from the beginning of the year, all administrative levels, sectors and organizations from central to local level supported these households with 1.7 thousand tons of rice.

Social security continued to be paid attention by authorities.  According to the preliminary report, the total funding for social security and poverty reduction in the first 3 months of 2018 was 3.9 billion VND, including:  2.1 billion VND of gifts and assistances for policy beneficiaries and national devotees; 1.2 trillion VND to support poor households and about 600 billion VND for hunger-relief and other social reliefs. Besides, there were 14 million health insurance cards, free health care books/cards were donated to policy beneficiaries in the whole country.

  1. Education and Training

The education and training sector was focusing on implementing the new general education program with the goal of modern, simplicity, quality assurance, associated with practice, facilitating the implementation of active teaching methods and techniques to develop students’ qualities and competencies; to improve the efficiency of state management for preschool education and improve the quality of university education. In the school year 2018-2019, there were 5,360 thousand preschool children; 8,359 primary school pupils; 5,603 thousand lower secondary school pupils; 2,578 thousand upper secondary school pupils and 11.7 thousand pedagogical secondary school students; 44.5 thousand pedagogical college students; 1,443 thousand full-time university students.

Vocational education continued to be renovated in association with improving the quality of human resources, especially high-quality human resources, in line with labor market demand, meeting development requirements, contributing to improvement of national competitiveness. In the first 3 months of 2019, vocational training enrolled 248.8 thousand students, of which there were 44.8 thousand college and secondary students; 204 thousand short-term training and other vocational training programs.

  1. Epidemic diseases and food poisoning

In March, the whole country witnessed 2.7 thousand cases of hand, foot and mouth disease; 15.7 thousand cases of hemorrhagic fever (1 death); 5 meningococcal meningitis; 30 cases of viral encephalitis and 25 food poisoning cases. Generally, for the first 3 months of 2019, the whole country recorded over 8.5 thousand cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (1 death); 41.9 thousand cases of hemorrhagic fever (2 deaths); 6 cases of meningococcal meningitis; 84 cases of viral encephalitis and 173 food poisoning cases (3 deaths)

As of 18 March 2019, the total number of alive HIV-infected persons over the country was 209.07 thousand persons and the number of cases turned to AIDS was 95.8 thousand persons; the number of persons died of HIV/AIDS nationwide was 98.2 thousand persons.

  1. Culture and Sport

Cultural activities in the first 3 months of 2019 focused on celebrating the Party, celebrating the Ky Hoi Lunar New Year and traditional festivals in many localities across the country. Professional art programs, popular art performances, traditional cultural activities, folk games were organized with diversified content of national cultural identity. Many events were organized on a large scale and receive actively response of many people.Communication and advocacy activities were organized in many forms, ensuring practicality, efficiency and savings, creating an exciting atmosphere among the people. Besides, festival management was paid attention to promote the positiveness of folk festivals and in line with cultural traditions; inspection and security at festivals were tightened and environmental sanitation and implementation of civilized lifestyle was ensured. However, religious activities still had some limitations that needed to be dealt with such as goods selling within the relic area and disguise in ritual activity of worship for deliver from misfortune “cúng, dâng sao giải hạn”. In order to address such situations, authorities from the central to local levels had drastically and timely directed to rectify and handle the aforementioned phenomena to ensure safety and tradition, meeting the demands of the people and visitors.

The mass sports movement took place vigorously throughout the localities in association with the campaign named “All people do physical exercise as the Great Uncle Ho did”. Physical training and sports activities were organized throughout the country, from traditional and traditional games to modern sports in order to meet the demands of people in accordance with local customs.

  1. Traffic accidents

In March (from 16 February to 15 March), there were 1,208 traffic accidents traffic accidents occurred nationwide, including 619 traffic accidents from less serious to more and 589 traffic collisions, causing 549 deaths, 395 injuries and 577 slight injuries. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in March decreased by 9.1% (the number of traffic accidents from less serious to more decreased by 14% and the number of traffic collisions went down by 3.3%); the number of deaths declined by 14.6%; the number of injuries dropped 10.2% and the number of slight injuries decreased by 13.9%.

Generally, for the first 3 months of 2019, there were 4,030 traffic accidents occurred nationwide, including 2,148 traffic accidents from less serious to more and 1,882 traffic collisions, causing 1,905 deaths, 1,209 injuries and 1,932 slight injuries. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in the first 3 months of this year decreased by 13.8% (traffic accidents from less serious to more decreased by 10.4%; the number of traffic collisions decreased by 17.4%); the number of deaths decreased by 11.4%; the number of injuries dropped 0.9% and the number of slight injuries decreased by 19.7%.  On average 45 traffic accidents occurred a day in the first 3 months 2019 nationwide, including 24 traffic accidents from less serious to more and 21 traffic collisions, causing 21 deaths, 13 injuries and 22 slight injuries. Although traffic accident situation witnessed improvement recently, the number of serious traffic accidents was still high and mainly occurred on roads.

Although traffic accident situation witnessed improvement recently, the number of serious traffic accidents was still and mainly occurred on roads. In the first 3 months of 2019, there were 2,098 road accidents (accounted for 97.7% of total traffic accidents from less serious to more), causing 1,875 deaths (accounted for 98.4% of total traffic accidents fatalities) and 1,193 injuries (made up 98.7%) There were some serious accidents caused great losses of people and property such as: The accident at the Hai Van Pass Tunnel between a bus and a container truck on 18 February, causing 11 injuries; the accident between motorbike and car in Gia Lai on 23 February caused 3 deaths; the accident at Dong Tam bus station, Ca Mau on 24 February, causing 1 death and 5 injuries; the accident of overturning container truck in Dong Thap on 23 March killed 3 persons; the accident in Vinh Phuc on 27 March killed 7 persons. The main causes of serious traffic accidents were the lack of awareness of traffic participants and drivers did not ensure safety regulations while operating, especially for heavy vehicles.

  1. Damages caused by natural disasters 

Natural disasters occurred in March mainly in the Northern mountainous provinces and several provinces in the Mekong Delta, causing 3 missing and 6 injuries, more than 350 hectares of rice and arable crops were damaged; 4.3 thousand houses collapsed, swept away and roof ripped-off. According to preliminary reports, the total value of property loss caused by natural disasters in the month was 37 billion VND. Generally, for the first 3 months of 2019 natural disasters caused 8 deaths and missing; 15 injuries; 4.9 thousand hectares of rice and arable crops were damaged; 265 thousand houses collapsed, swept away; nearly 8 thousand houses hit by landslides and damaged. The total value of damage caused by natural disasters in Q1 2019 was estimated at over 104 billion VND, of which Ha Giang was suffered the highest losses with nearly 34 billion VND.

  1. Environment protection, fire and explosion prevention

In March, 1,199 cases of violating regulations of environment protection were found, of which 1,116 cases were addressed with total fine of over 6.2 billion VND. Generally, for the first 3 months, 2,378 cases of violating regulations of environment protection were found, of which 2,127 cases were addressed with total fine of over 22 billion VND.

In March, (from 16 February to 15 March) there were 289 cases of fire and explosion across the country, causing 10 deaths and 19 injuries, with an estimated property damage of over 50 billion VND. Generally, for the first 3 months (from 16 February 2018 to 15 March 2019) there were 957 cases of fire and explosion across the country, causing 30 deaths and 57 injuries, with an estimated property damage of over 154 billion VND.

In general, in the context of downturn world economy and global commodities trading, the socio-economic picture of Viet Nam in the Q1 2019 continued to have positive changes thanks to the drastic navigation of the Government, the Prime Minister and the efforts of localities, business community and people across the country. In Q1 2019, the economy achieved a good growth rate, Macro-economy was stable, and inflation was curbed at a low level. The balance of trade maintained trade surplus, international visitors and foreign direct investment attraction were quite good. The domestic market was generally stable, supply and demand of goods was guaranteed. Labor, employment and social security were paid attention to and achieved certain results, the unemployment rate and underemployment witnessed a decreasing trend. However, besides achievements, our economy still faced many challenges and limitations as well as continued to deal with new challenges: Disbursement progress of public investment was low; export turnover of many agricultural products, which was considered as a strength in the export sector, tended to decrease; manufacturing sector was difficult to maintain the same growth rate as the same period last year in the next quarters. Weather, droughts and epidemics were complicated and could affect agricultural production and people’s life. In addition, along with the high exposure and deepening progress of international economic integration, Viet Nam’s economy will be interfered by multi-aspects of the international economic developments which are increasingly complicated and unpredictable.

In the coming time, in order to achieve the socio-economic development objectives and targets of 2019, all levels, branches and localities should continue to synchronously  and effectively implement solutions set out in the Resolution No.01/NQ-CP dated 01 January 2019 on the main missions and solutions to implement the Socio-economic Development Plan and the State budget estimate for 2019 and Resolution No.02/NQ- CP on 01 January 2019 on continuing implementation of major tasks and solutions for improving the business environment and the national competitiveness in 2019 and orientation towards 2021 and the Prime Minister’s directions Government, which focuses on the following main contents:

Firstly, to promptly cope with difficulties, strongly improve the business investment environment, to simplify administrative procedures, public services, substantially reducing business conditions considered as barriers to the operation of enterprises and individual business establishments, to create motivation for development of enterprises and individual business establishments, to apply appropriate policies to strongly develop the private economy.

Secondly, to navigate monetary policy, interest rate, exchange rate in the direction of prudence and flexibility, in line with domestic and international market movements, to harmoniously coordinate with fiscal policies and other macro policies to curb inflation, support production and business and promote economic growth. To adjust prices of goods managed by the State following a road-map at a reasonable time to ensure inflation control targets in 2019. Credit growth meets the requirements of production and business development, focusing on priority areas such as agriculture, rural areas, auxiliary industries, exports, high-tech applied enterprises and small and medium enterprises, supporting start-up; to control credit in some potential risk sectors, preventing real estate bubble in 2019 and taking measures to limit “tín dụng đen” (illegal credit/black-market credit).

Thirdly, to improve the legal environment, cope with difficulties in implementing the Planning Law and the Public Investment Law to timely disburse public investment and promote private investment. To improve the results of international trade expansion, export boost, trade promotion, seeking and expanding the goods export markets especially for agricultural, forestry and fishery products. To control imported goods and equipment quality, maintain a sustainable trade balance, set up appropriate technical barriers to protect domestic production and promote production.

Fourthly, the agricultural sector should continue to restructure crops and livestock associated with the market; to flexibly convert inefficient rice cultivating area to high value crops and aquaculture. To control diseases in cattle and poultry, and stabilize production. In the coming time, to focus on drastically and synchronously solutions to prevent African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease in pigs, definitely handling epidemics areas, tighten inspection and surveillance, not to let the epidemic continue to spread, and prepare to supply enough breeds for re-population after the epidemic and to have solutions to compensate for the pig husbandry. Regarding the possibility of oversupply of export catfish in the coming time, it is recommended that farmers should focus on improving product quality, meeting the importer’s requirements.

Fifthly, to encourage the demand for domestic products, increase the competitiveness of domestic goods over imported goods, promote the development of manufacturing industries, especially in-depth processing industry, processing agricultural products; auxiliary industries, consumer goods production. To enhance tourism promotion, policies and measures to attract international visitors, especially those coming from markets with high spending and long stay in Viet Nam.

Sixth, to effectively implement social security policies. To provide ad-hoc assistance to ensure that people get stuck in risks and natural disasters are timely supported to overcome difficulties and stabilize their lives Strengthen environmental protection, ensure traffic order and safety and prevent fire and explosion./.

GENERAL STATISTICS OFFICE


[1] International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth forecast in 2019 to 3.5%, 0.2 percentage points lower than the previous forecast of 3.7%, and this was the first time the IMF brought down forecast of world economic growth since July 2016. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also cut its forecast of world economic growth in 2019 by 0.2 percentage points, to 3.3%. Meanwhile, World Bank ( WB) only forecasted global economic growth in 2019 to reach 2.9%.

[2] GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 was: 5.90%, 4.75%, 4.76%, 5.06%, 6.12%, 5.48%, 5.15%, 7.45 %, and 6.79%, respectively.

[3] Growth rate of value added in the fishery activities in the first quarter of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 was: 2.87%, 4.06%, 2.28%, 4.72%, 3.38%, 1.90%, 3.76%, 4.9 6%, and 5.1%, respectively.

[4] Growth rate of value added in the manufacturing activities in the first quarter of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 was: 8.74%, 4.38%, 5.97%, 9.70%, 8.94%, 8.60%, 14.30%, and 12.35%, respectively.

[5] Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Hanoi, Hai Duong, Ha Nam, Hoa Binh, Dien Bien, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Lang Son, Bac Kan, Son La and Nghe An , Bac Ninh and Thua Thien – Hue, Lai Chau, Bac Giang, Quang Tri and Vinh Phuc.

[6]Pangasius price ranged from 23,500-26,000 VND/kg, which was lower than that of 28,500-30,000 VND/kg in the first two months of the year.

[7] The 1st quarter of 2018, the manufacturing witnessed the impressive increase of 15.7% due to the sudden growth of the manufacturing of electronic, computer and optical products.

[8] Some enterprises of packaging production, printing and communication increased its number of employee.

[9] Some enterprises manufacturing electronic parts and toys for children faced difficulties in their production contracts, resulting in a significant fall in employee.

[10] Source: National business registration information system, Business Registration Management Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment.

[11] Compared to the same period last year, the number of enterprises increased by 54.3%; the registered capital increased by 57.9%.

[12] In the first quarter of 2018, the number of newly registered enterprises increased by 1.2% over the same period last year; the registered capital increased by 2.7%; the average registered capital of an enterprise increased by 1.5%.

[13] The corresponding indices of the fourth quarter of 2018: 44.7% of enterprises assessed a better the business production situation than the previous quarter; 16.9% of enterprises faced it difficulties and 38.4% of enterprises said that the business production situation was stable.

[14] Corresponding index of the fourth quarter of 2018: 47.9% of enterprises assessed the production volume increased compared with the previous quarter; 16.6% of enterprises rated production volume decrease and 35.5% of enterprises was stable.

[15] Corresponding index of the fourth quarter of 2018: 40.9% of enterprises have more orders than the previous quarter; 16.9% of enterprises have less orders and 42.2% of enterprises have stable orders.

[16] In which: Vinhtex project with a total registered investment of 200 million USD invested by Royal Pagoda Private Limited (Singapore) with the goal of producing fabrics and dyeing knitted fabrics in Nghe An; Project of Sunshine aerospace components manufacturing factory with a total registered capital of 170 million USD funded by Universal Alloy Corporation Asia Pte., Ltd (Singapore) with the goal of building the factory that manufactured and assembled aerospace components made of aluminum and composite alloys in Da Nang.

[17] Project of Vintech Technology Development Joint Stock Company invested in developing components and smart phones in Spain with a total investment of 59.8 million USD.

[18] Due to the fact that February had fewer working days (9 Lunar New Year holidays).

[19] Estimated trade deficit in February was 900 million USD.

[20] Of which in the first quarter of 2019 export surplus to the EU reached 6.6 billion USD, down 4.5% compared to the same period last year; trade deficit from China gained 7.4 billion USD, up 35.4%; trade deficit from Korea attained 7.1 billion USD, down 2.8%; trade deficit from ASEAN achieved 1.9 billion USD, up 26.1%.

[21] Mainly because pork prices fell 0.65 % over the previous month.

[22] As pork prices decreased by 5.3% compared to the previous month; fresh seafood prices declined 1.51%; prices of poultry eggs decreased by 2.76 % and prices of fresh vegetables decreased by 1.53 %.

[23] Average CPI growth rate in the first quarter compared to the same period last year in 2017, 2018, and 2019: 4.96%, 2.82%, and 2.63%, respectively.

[24] On average in the first quarter of 2019, price index for group of restaurants and catering services increased by 5.18% over the same period in 2018, food items increased by 1.15% (contributing 0.05 % to the overall CPI increase); foodstuff prices rose 6.6% (contributing 1.49% to the overall CPI increase).

[25] Domestic petrol and oil prices were adjusted downwards as of 1st January, 2019 and remained stable in February 2019. As of 2nd March, 2019, prices of A95, E5 petrol were adjusted upwards by 940 VND per liter, price of diesel oil increased by 960 VND per liter; kerosene price increased by 700 VND per liter. Generally for the first quarter of 2019, the petroleum price index decreased by 8.22 %.

[26] The ratio between merchandise export index and merchandise import index.

[27]Unemployment rate of labor force in working age in Q1 2018 was 2.20%, (urban area: 3.12%; rural area: 1.74%).

[28] Employment in the informal economy in non-agricultural activities include those who do not work in agriculture, forestry and fisheries and belong to one of the following three groups: (i) wage earners in the formal sector who are not entitled to enter into a labor contract or to be entered into a labor contract with definite term but not paid compulsory social insurance by employers; family labor in establishments in the formal sector and cooperative members who do not have a compulsory social insurance; (ii) owners of establishments, self-employed workers, wage earners and family labor in establishments in the informal sector; (iii) self-employed workers for self-consumption of households and hired labor in households.