World Bank: Most of Vietnam’s economic indicators in April good
The World Bank in Vietnam has recently announced its updated report on Vietnam Macro Monitoring in May 2021, which states that most of Vietnam’s economic indicators in April were good.
However, it warns of several risks to the Vietnamese economy due to the most recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late April.
According to the report, industrial production continued its strong growth momentum last month, increasing by 1.1 percent compared to March, 24.1 percent higher than the same period in 2020.
Revenue from retail sales in April also expanded by 2.3 percent month-on-month, after two consecutive months of decline. The consumer price index in April also recorded an increase of 0.5 percent compared to March, reflecting a recovery in household consumption.
In terms of exports, a double-digit growth rate was recorded in all major export items, with the fastest increase in the export revenue of machinery. This was attributed to the ongoing economic recovery in the US and China.
According to the WB, although foreign direct investment (FDI) decreased in April, reaching only 2.2 billion USD (53 percent lower than the previous month), it was generally stable.
The bank also valued the accelerated progress of vaccinations against COVID-19 in Vietnam with 506,000 doses administered in April compared with about 50,000 doses in late March.
However, it warned that Vietnam is experiencing its fourth COVID-19 outbreak from the end of April 2021, forcing the government to quickly respond by closing schools and applying new restrictive measures on travel. This will affect domestic economic activities, especially tourism, transportation and retail.
Therefore, the World Bank recommended that if it is necessary to maintain or tighten these new restrictive measures on health and travel, the Government of Vietnam should consider a new fiscal stimulus package, including a support package on a larger scale for people and businesses affected by the pandemic.
Bloomberg: IMF Calls for Major Reforms to Turn Zimbabwe’s Economy Around
Zimbabwe needs a “broader reform and stabilisation agenda” to sustain an almost yearlong effort by authorities to support the local currency and lower inflation, the International Monetary Fund said.
The government should address pandemic-related health and social challenges, coordinate fiscal, foreign-exchange and monetary policies, and implement structural reforms aimed at improving the business climate and curbing corruption, an IMF spokesperson said Friday in an emailed response to questions.
Zimbabwe reintroduced its own currency in 2019 after a 10-year hiatus and has been battling bouts of high inflation and shortages of everything from foreign currency to food. The local unit, which was pegged at parity to the US dollar two years ago, has plunged to 84.6 against the greenback, while annual inflation stands at 194%.
The IMF plans to hold a virtual staff visit in the first half of June, which would be a precursor to the country’s enrollment in a staff-monitored program. A previous program ended in February 2020, when the fund said Zimbabwe had gone “off track.”
“Fund staff will discuss recent macroeconomic developments, the authorities’ efforts in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccine roll-out, economic outlook and policies and capacity development priorities,” the spokesperson said.
Zimbabwe’s Treasury estimates the economy will grow 7.4% this year, though that’s more optimistic than the IMF’s 3.1% projection. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has forecast the inflation rate will drop to 15% by year-end.
“Fund staff take note of the authorities’ efforts to stabilise the local currency and lower inflation over the last few months,” the spokesperson said.
The government has yet to provide a clear plan on how the country will expunge almost $10 billion of debt owed to multilateral lenders including the World Bank, Paris Club and African Development Bank that are crucial for it to access fresh credit lines. The solution lies in “sound policies and donor support needed to resolve the debt overhang problem,” according to the IMF.
Source: Dinar Recaps
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