[HANOI] Vietnam's economic growth quickened in the third quarter, buoyed by foreign investments and exports growth that contrasts with the performance of many of its neighbors.
Gross domestic product rose 6.81 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to figures released by the Hanoi-based General Statistics Office Tuesday that complements other signs of an economic pickup. That compares with a revised 6.47 per cent pace in the second quarter this year. Vietnam typically releases growth estimates before the end of the quarter, weeks ahead of its peers, and the numbers are often revised later.
"Vietnam is the only country with strong export growth amid contracting exports among its regional peers," according to a Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd research note earlier this week.
In a bid to safeguard exports and support government efforts to boost economic growth to a four-year high of 6.2 per cent in 2015, the central bank weakened the dong's reference rate in August for the third time this year, widening the currency's trading band after China devalued the yuan. The country is also benefiting from cheaper energy costs as disappearing inflation aids domestic demand.
The faster growth numbers failed to lift Vietnam stocks, which joined Asian markets in a tumble Tuesday with a selloff in commodity companies. The benchmark VN Index dropped 0.7 per cent at the close. Vietnam's stocks are poised to resume gains that have made the benchmark equity index Asia's best performer this year, according to analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
In the nine months through September the economy grew 6.5 per cent, compared with the median estimate of 6.4 per cent in a Bloomberg survey.