I. ECONOMIC SITUATION

1. The gross domestic product (GDP) in 9 months of 2019 was estimated to increase by 6.98% over the same period last year, which was the highest growth rate of 9 months in the last 9 years[1] (the figure in the first, second, and third quarter reached 6.82%, 6.73%, and 7.31%, respectively).

In the context of sluggish growth of the world economy along with increasing risks and challenging factors, the world faced problems such as the unpredictable US-China trade war, escalated geopolitical tensions in the Persian Gulf, the risk of no-deal Brexit, rising global policy uncertainty, declining business confidence and financial market sentiment, and the slowdown of world trade and investment. In this situation, the international organizations released pessimistic forecasts about the world economic growth in 2019[2], the GDP growth rate of 6.98% affirmed the timely and effective direction of the Government and the Prime Minister; efforts of all administrative levels, ministries, agencies/authorities, and localities in implementing the socio-economic development plan to achieve growth targets in 2019. In the overall growth of the whole economy, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector increased by 2.02% (the same period in 2018 increased by 3.7%), contributed 4.8% to the general growth; the industry and construction sector increased by 9.36%, made up 52.6%; the service sector increased by 6.85%, contributed 42.6%. The main drivers of economic growth in the 9 months of this year were the manufacturing activities (an increase of 11.37%) and market service activities (the wholesale and retail trade increased by 8.31%; the finance, banking and insurance activities increased by 8.19%; the transportation and storage increased by 7.82%; the information and communication increased by 7.65%).

In terms of 9-month economic structure, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, the industry and construction sector, service sector, and the product taxes less subsidies on production accounted for 13.20%, 33.98%, 42.74%, and 10.08% of the GDP, respectively (the corresponding structure of the same period in 2018 was 13.94%; 33.50%; 42.51%; 10.05%).

From the expenditure approach of the 9-month GDP, the final consumption, the capital formation, the export of goods and services, and the import of goods and services increased by 7.20%, 7.68%, 7.41%, and 8.78% over the same period in 2018, respectively.

2. Agriculture, forestry and fishery sector in 9 months faced challenges due to drought and climate change affecting to productivity and crops yield, husbandry witnessed severe damage caused by African swine fever. Particularly, fishery was recorded a good growth, which was a bright spot of the sector in 9 beginning months this year.

a) Agriculture

Cultivated area of ​​winter-spring paddy in the nationwide reached 3,123.9 thousand hectares, an increase of 21.8 thousand hectares compared to that of over the previous winter-spring crop; the yield reached 65.5 quintals / hectare, a decline of 0.9 quintals / hectare; total production of crops reached 20.5 million tons, a decline of 133.1 thousand tons.

As of mid-September, area of ​​winter paddy cultivation in the nationwide reached 1,558.1 thousand hectares, an equal to 96.5% of over the same period last year. This year, the country’s summer-autumn paddy cultivated 2,009.3 thousand hectares, a decline of 43.7 thousand hectares compared to that of over the last summer-autumn crop, of which Mekong River Delta reached 1,569.1 thousand hectares, a decline of 35.4 thousand hectares. As of September 15, 2019, localities harvested 1,859 thousand hectares of summer-autumn paddy, holding 92.5% of cultivated area, an equal to 98% of over the same period last year; Yield of summer-autumn paddy in the nationwide was estimated at 54.8 quintals / hectare, an increase of 0.2 quintals / hectare compared to that of over the summer-autumn crop in 2018, due to a decline of cultivated area, the total yield of the summer-autumn paddy in 2019 was estimated at 11 million tons, a decline of 197 thousand tons.

As of mid-September, the country cultivated 960.9 thousand hectares of maize, equaling 96.7% of over the same period last year; 110.6 thousand hectares of sweet potatoes, equaling 98%; 169.7 thousand hectares of groundnut, equaling 96%; 43.9 thousand hectares of soybeans, equaling 95.4%; 978.7 thousand hectares of vegetables and beans, equaling 101.7%.

Production of some perennial industrial plants in nine months increased compared to that of over the same period last year: Cashew production was estimated at 284.9 thousand tons, rising by 6.9%; rubber reached 823.8 thousand tons, rising by 4.6%; pepper reached 269.1 thousand tons, rising by 2.4%. Production harvest of some major fruits: Mango reached 716.8 thousand tons, rising by 1.9% of over the same period last year; dragon fruit reached 788.8 thousand tons, increasing by 24.2%; oranges reached 472.8 thousand tons, rising by 10.4%; Grapefruit reached 433.9 thousand tons, rising by 7.5%.

Buffalo population of the country in September continued to decrease by 2.8% compared to that of over the same period in 2018 due to low economic efficiency and the reduction in grazing area; cattle population was recorded to grow with an increase of 2.4% in the month; poultry increased by 10.5%; As of September 2019, pig population decreased by 19% compared to that of over the same period in 2018. As of September 17, 2019, the country no longer recorded blue ear disease on pigs; avian influenza still occurred in Ben Tre; African swine fever was reported in 7,612 communes, 642 districts of 63 provinces and central cities

b) Forestry

The concentrated forest area in 9 months of 2019 was estimated at 176.5 thousand hectares, decreasing by 5.4% of against same period last year (third quarter achieved 66.5 thousand hectares, decreasing by 4%); number of dispersed planted trees reached 60.7 million, falling by 2.8% ( the third quarter reached 26.3 million, a decline of 2.2%); wood production reached 11,413 thousand m3, an increase of 4.5% (the third quarter reached 4,393 thousand m3, an increase of 4.8%); firewood production reached 14 million ste, a decline of 1.6% (the third quarter reached 4.8 million ste, falling by 0.8%). The destroyed forest area in 9 months this year was 3,059.7 hectares, an increase of  3.2 times higher than that of over the same period last year, of which the fired forest area was 2,641.7 hectares, which was recorded nearly 5 times higher; area of cut and destroyed forest was 418 hectares, decreasing by 2.5%.

c) Fishery

Total fishery production in nine months this year was estimated at 5,964.9 thousand tons, rising by 5.4% compared to that of over the same period last year (the third quarter reached 2,190.6 thousand tons, rising by 4.9%), of which fish reached 4,321.9 thousand tons, rising by 5.2%; shrimp reached 719.6 thousand tons, rising by 7.2%; other fisheries reached 923.4 thousand tons, an increase of 5%.

Aquaculture production in 9 months was estimated at 3,114 thousand tons, rising by 6.2% of over the same period last year (the third quarter reached 1,196.8 thousand tons, a growth of 5.7%), of which fish reached 2,189.5 thousand tons, a growth of 5.9%; shrimp reached 591.7 thousand tons, rising by 8.6%.

Fishery production in 9 months was estimated at 2,850.9 thousand tons, rising by 4.5% of over the same period last year (the third quarter was estimated at 993.8 thousand tons, rising by 4%), of which fish reached 2,132.4 thousand tons, a growth of 4.4%; shrimp reached 127.9 thousand tons, an increase of 1.2%.

3. The industry and construction sector increased significantly, with the main growth driving force belonging to the manufacturing; the mining and quarrying activities grew again after consecutive years of decline.

The growth of the industry and construction sector in  9 months of 2019 reached 9.36% over the same period last year; the manufacturing played a key role and led the overall growth of the industry and the whole economy (an increase of 11.37%); the mining and quarrying saw a slight increase of 2.68% after many consecutive years of decline due to significant growth of coal mining, making up for the decline in the extraction of crude oil.

Generally for the 9 months of 2019, the index of industrial shipment of the manufacturing increased by 9.5% over the same period last year (the figure in the same period of 2018 was 12.2%). The index of industrial inventory of the manufacturing as of 30th September, 2019 was estimated to increase by 17.2% compared to the same period last year (the same period in 2018 increased by 13.8%). The average index of industrial inventory of the manufacturing in 9 months of 2019 reached 72.1%[3] (63.8% in the same period last year).

4. The number of newly established enterprises in 9 months of 2019 continued to reach a new record with nearly 102.3 thousand enterprises, the average registered capital of an enterprise increased sharply and gained 12.6 billion VND, the highest level in recent years, the health of newly enterprises was forecasted better when entering the market .

a) Enterprise registration status[4]

In 9 months of this year, the whole country had nearly 102.3 thousand newly registered enterprises with a total registered capital of 1,290.8 trillion VND, surged 5.9% in the number of enterprises and 34% in number of the registered capital compared to the same period in 2018; the average registered capital of a newly established enterprise was 12.6 billion VND, climbing 26.6%. If including 1,730.4 trillion VND of the additionally registered capital of enterprises that recorded upward adjustment of capital, the total additional registered capital in the economy in the first 9 months of 2019 was 3,021.2 trillion VND. In addition, there were 27.6 thousand re-operated enterprises, an increase of 20.5% over the same period last year, bringing the total number of newly registered enterprises and re-operated enterprises in 9 months to more 129.8 thousand enterprises. The total number of registered employees of newly established enterprises in 9 months of this year was 929.8 thousand persons, increasing by 13.4% compared to the same period last year.

The number of enterprises ceased for a certain period of time in 9 months this year was 21.2 thousand enterprises, decreasing by 7.9% compared to the same period last year. The number of enterprises temporarily ceased and awaited dissolution procedures was 28.2 thousand; 11.9 thousand enterprises were revoked their business registration certificates in line with the 2018 data standardization program; the number of enterprises completed dissolution procedures was 12.1 thousand enterprises, a rise of 4.7%.

b) Business tendency of the enterprises

Results of the business tendency survey of manufacturing enterprises in the third quarter of 2019 showed that: 43.3% of enterprises assessed that the business production situation in the third quarter of this year was better than the previous quarter; 18.3% of enterprises reported to face difficulties and 38.4% of enterprises said that the business production situation was stable[5]. For expected outcome of the fourth quarter of 2019, 52.1% of enterprises presented that the tendency would get better; 12.1% of enterprises predicted that it would be more difficult and 35.8% of enterprises said that the business production situation would be stable.

5. Service activity in 9 months of 2019 occurred vibrantly, reflecting an increase in consumer demand of the people. The consumer market has been expanded, the goods supply has been plentiful, the quality has been guaranteed to meet the people’s needs and tastes.

Gross retail sales of consumer goods and services reached 3,634.8 trillion VND, rising by 11.6% over that in the same period last year[6], if excluding the price factor, the increase was 9.2%, of which gross retail sales of consumer goods and services were estimated to reach 1,246.4 trillion VND in the third quarter, going up by 3.5% over that in the previous quarter and increasing by 12.2% over that in the same period last year. By economic activities, retail sales of goods in 9 months reached 2,762.3 trillion VND, accounting for 76% of the total and expanding 12.6% over that in the same period last year; revenue from accommodation and catering services in 9 months were estimated at 434.7 trillion VND, accounting for 12% of the total and going up by 9.6%; revenue from tourism and travelling services was estimated at 33.5 trillion VND, accounting for 0.9% of the total and rising by 12%; revenue from other services in 9 months was estimated at 404.3 trillion VND, accounting for 11.1% of the total and rising by 7.3%.

The infrastructure of the transportation and telecommunication activity has been increasingly improved to enhance service quality. The transportation and telecommunication activity in the 3rd quarter and 9 months of 2019 continued to obtain a good growth compared to the same period last year. Generally for nine months, passenger carriage reached 3,792.5 million passengers, up 10.5% over the same period last year and 177.2 billion passengers-kilometers, up 9.8% (in the third quarter, passenger carriage reached 1,296.5 million passengers, up 11.2% over the same period last year and 63.2 billion passengers-kilometers, up 10.1%). Freight carriage reached 1,244.5 million tons, up 8.9% over the same period last year and 237.9 billion tons-kilometers, up 7.5% (in the third quarter, freight transport was estimated at 421.5 million tons, up 9.5% over the same period last year and 81.2 billion tons.km, up 7.9%).

Telecommunications revenue in 9 months was estimated to reach 277.1 trillion VND, up 7.23% (if excluding the price factor, the increase was 6.75%). By the end of September 2019, the total number of telephone subscribers was estimated at 135.2 million, up 5% over the same period last year, of which mobile subscribers gained 131.4 million, up 5.7%; fixed broadband internet subscribers reached 14.3 million, up 14.5%.

Vietnam continues to be the destination to attract international tourists. September has been the fourth month since the beginning of this year and the consecutive second month that the number of international visitors to Vietnam reached over 1.5 million[7]. Generally for nine months, international visitors to Vietnam were estimated at 12.9 million, increasing by 10.8% over that in the same period last year, of which visitors by roadway increased the highest with 23.5%, followed by airway with increase of 8.3%; particularly visitors by seaway decreased by 0.6%. International visitors to Vietnam from Asia reached 10,156.2 thousand, rising by 12.5% over the same period last year; visitors from Europe were estimated at 1,612.9 thousand, up 5.3%; visitors from the Americas reached 737.8 thousand, up 6.8%; visitors from Oceania reached 329.2 thousand, down 1.4%; visitors from Africa reached 34.5 thousand visitors, up 10.8% over the same period in 2019.

6. Positive growth of banking, insurance and security activities in 9 months 2019 played an important part in the economic growth

As of 20th September, 2019, the total liquidity increased by 8.44% compared to the end of 2018 ( a rise of 8.74% in the same period in 2018 gained); capital mobilization of credit institutions increased by 8.68% ( a growth of 9.15%) in the same period in 2018) credit growth of the economy rose 8.4% ( an increase of 9.52% in the same period in 2018 reached).

Insurance activities in the third quarter of 2019 continued to achieve a high growth rate, an estimated increase of 19% over the same period last year, of which life insurance premium revenue increased by 23%, non- life insurance sector rose 12%.  The premium revenue of the whole market in the first 9 months of 2019 was estimated to increase by 20% over the same period in 2018, of which life insurance premiums expanded by 22%, non-life insurance rose 12%.

The stock market in the first 9 months of 2019 much contributed to raising capital for the economy with a total capital mobilization of 203.5 trillion VND, a rise of 2% over the same period last year. As of 24th September, 2019, in the stock market, the VNIndex reached 996.74 points, an increase of 0.2% compared to the end of last month and growth of 10.4% compared to the end of 2018; market capitalization reached 4,504 trillion VND, an expansion of 13.7% compared to the end of 2018; the average transaction value from the beginning of 2019 reached 4,576 billion VND per session, a fall of 30.1% compared to the average in 2018 On the bond market, there were 511 listed bonds with the value of 1,142 trillion VND, a rise of 2% compared to the end of 2018. On the derivatives market, average trading volume from the beginning of the year to date reached 97,271 contracts per session, up 23 % compared to the average of transactions in 2018.

7. The realized investment in the first 9 months of 2019 reached a moderately increase compared to the same period in 2018, of which the non-state economic sector accounted for the largest share of the total investment capital confirming the policy of the Party on private economic development became an important driving force of the economy.

 The realized investment in the first 9 months of 2019 moderately increased by 10.3% compared to the same period in 2018 (QIII was estimated to reach 556.5 trillion VND, rising by 10.5%). Of which the non-state economic sector gained 624.6 trillion VND, accounted for the largest share of the total investment capital (45.3%) and reaching the highest capital growth rate (16.9%) over the same previous year; the state sector reached 426.6 trillion VND, representing 3 1 % of the total capital and increasing by 3 % compared to the same period last year; The foreign direct investment recorded 327.1 trillion VND, accounting for 23.7% and increasing by 8.4 %. It was noteworthy that investment capital of the State budget was not much improved, continuing to remain the lowest increase in the years 2015-2019[8].

The foreign direct investment from the beginning of the year to 20th September, 2019 attracted 2,759 newly licensed projects with a registered capital of 10,973.4 million USD, an increase of 26.4% in the number of projects and a decrease of 22.3% of registered capital as compared to the same period in 2018. Besides, 1,037 turns of projects which were licensed in the previous years registered to adjust investment capital with the additional capital of 4,789.8 million USD, a drop of 13.6% over the same period last year. Thus, total newly granted capital and additionally capital in the first 9 months of the year achieved 15,763.2 million USD, a decrease of 19.9% over the same period in 2018. Foreign direct investment capital in 9 months reached 14.2 billion USD, a rise of 7.3% over the same period last year. In 9 months, there were 6,502 turns of capital contribution and share purchases of foreign investors with a total value of capital contribution of 10.4 billion USD, a growth of 82.3% over the same period in 2018, including 1,348 turns of capital contribution capital, share purchase increased charter capital of the enterprise with the value of contributed capital of 6.34 billion USD and 5,154 turns  of foreign investors repurchased domestic shares without increasing the charter capital with a value of 4, 06 billion USD.

8. In the first 9 months of 2019, the progress of the state budget revenue remained stable, the state budget expenditures continued to promptly meet tasks on development investment, repayment of debts, assurance of national defense, security and operation of the State apparatus.

The State budget revenue from January to 15th September 2019 was estimated at 1,028.7 trillion VND, equaling 72.9 % of the yearly estimate, of which the domestic revenue reached 824.6 trillion VND, accounting for 70.3 %; crude oil revenue was 40.8 trillion VND, equaling 91.5 %; budget balance revenue from import and export was 159.8 trillion VND, equaling 84.4 %.

The State budget expenditure from January to the 15th September 2019 estimated at 962.2 trillion VND, equaling 58.9 % of the yearly estimate, of which recurrent expenditure gained 691.9 trillion VND, equaling 69.2 %; expenditure on development investment witnessed 174.3 trillion VND, equaling 40.6 %; interest payment was 78.6 trillion, equaling 63%.

9. Export and import turnover of goods and services in the first 9 months of 2019 reached a moderate growth rate, of which export turnover of the domestic economic sector had a growth rate of 16.4%, much higher than the growth rate of FDI sector (5%). The trade balance of goods in 9 months was estimated to see a trade surplus of 5.9 billion USD.

a) Export and import of goods: Total import and export turnover of goods in nine months of 2019 was estimated at 382.72 billion USD, export turnover of goods reached 194.3 billion USD, went up by 8.2% over the same period last year, of which the domestic economic sector has a high growth rate of 16.4%, higher than the growth rate of the foreign invested sector (5%). The trade balance of goods in 9 months was estimated at trade surplus of 5.9 billion USD.

Export of goods: Export turnover in September 2019 was estimated at 23.0 billion USD, went down by 11.1% over the previous month. In the third quarter of 2019, export turnover reached 71.76 billion USD, climbed up by 10% over the same period in 2018 and jumped up by 12.7% compared to the second quarter of this year. In the third quarter, there were 10 products with export turnover of more than 1 billion USD, accounting for 74.4% of the total export turnover. Generally, in nine months of 2019, export turnover was estimated at 194.30 billion USD, went up by 8.2% over the same period in 2018[9], of which the domestic economic sector gained 59.57 billion USD, jumped up by 16.4% and accounted for 30.7% of the total export turnover; the FDI sector (including crude oil) reached 134.73 billion USD, edged up by 5% and accounted for 69.3%. There were 26 products with export turnover of over 1 billion USD, sharing 89.8% of the total export turnover.

Import of goods: Import turnover in September 2019 was estimated at 22.5 billion USD, rose by 0.2% from the previous month. In the third quarter of 2019, import turnover reached 67.48 billion USD, grew by 8.9% over the same period in 2018 and went up by 6.3% compared to the second quarter of this year. There were 14 imported products with  turnover of over 1 billion USD, sharing 72.6% of the total import turnover.

Generally, in nine months of 2019, import turnover was estimated at 188.42 billion USD, increased by 8.9% over the same period in 2018, of which the domestic economic sector reached 78.97 billion USD, climbed up by 14%; FDI sector reached 109.45 billion USD, edged up by 5.5%; There were 32 imported products with turnover of over 1 billion USD, contributing 88.8% of the total import turnover.

The trade balance of goods in August witnessed a trade surplus of 3.4 billion USD; trade surplus for 8 months reached 5.4 billion USD; the trade surplus in September was estimated at 0.5 billion USD. Generally, in nine months of 2019, the trade surplus was estimated at 5.9 billion USD[10], of which the domestic economic sector saw a trade deficit of 19.4 billion USD; the FDI sector (including crude oil) witnessed a trade surplus of 25.3 billion USD.

b) Export and import of services: In the first nine months of 2019, service export turnover was estimated at 12 billion USD, rose by 8.1% over the same period in 2018 (third quarter reached 4.1 billion USD, grew by 12.5%), of which tourism reached 8.4 billion USD (accounting for 70.2% of the total turnover), expanded by 11%; transport service reached 2.2 billion USD (accounting for 18.2%), increased by 1.3%. Service import turnover in nine months of this year was estimated at 14.1 billion USD, edged up by 2% over the same period last year, of which transport service gained 6.8 billion USD (accounting for 48.1% of total turnover), increased by 4.9%; tourism services reached 4.4 billion USD (accounting for 31.4%), dropped 1.6%. Trade deficit of services in nine months of 2019 was 2.1 billion USD, equaled 17.9% of the service export turnover.

10. Price index

a) Inflation was controlled at a low level, the average consumer price index (CPI) in 9 months increased by 2.5%, which has been the lowest 9-month average increase in the past 3 years[11].

CPI in September 2019 increased by 0.32% over the previous month, of which the highest increase belonged to the price of education services because the localities implemented the roadmap to increase tuition fee for the new school year; The price of living weight pig increased due to the impact of the African swine cholera and the price of rice and fresh food increased in some areas that affected by floods. Generally for the third quarter of 2019, CPI increased by 0.48% compared to the previous quarter and increased by 2.23% over the same period in 2018; Average price index of 9 months in 2019 increased by 2.5% compared to the same period in 2018. Average core inflation in 9 months of 2019 increased by 1.91% compared to the same period of 2018.

b) Gold price index and US dollar

Domestic gold price fluctuated according to world gold price. Gold price increased due to the trade war between the US and China and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Gold price index in September 2019 increased by 3.25% over the previous month; an increase of 18.05% compared to December 2018; a rise of 19.83% over the same period last year.

The US dollar price index in September 2019 decreased by 0.11% over the previous month; declined by 0.49% compared to December 2018 and reduced by 0.39% over the same period in 2018.

c) Producer price index and import and export price index

Producer price index (PPI) for agriculture, forestry and fishery products in the third quarter of 2019 decreased by 1.02% from the previous quarter and declined by 1.16% compared to the same period last year; Respectively, PPI for industrial products increased by 0.06% and rose by 1%; PPI for services increased by 1.25% and grew by 2.9%. Generally for nine months of 2019, the PPI for agriculture, forestry and fishery products increased by 1.12% over the same period in 2018, the PPI for industrial products went up by 1.49%, the PPI for services increased by 3.07%.

Merchandize export price index in the third quarter of this year decreased by 0.2% against the previous quarter and increased by 2.54% over the same period last year; respectively, the import price index increased by 0.01% and edged up by 0.39%. Merchandize term of trade[12] in the third Quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.21% compared to the previous quarter and increased by 2.14% over the same period last year. Generally for nine months of 2019, the merchandize export price index increased by 2.69% over the same period last year, the merchandize import price index increased by 0.77%; Merchandize term of trade increased by 1.91% over the same period in 2018.

II. SOME SOCIAL ISSUES

1. In the whole country, the situation of labor and employment in the first 9 months of 2019 showed many positive changes, number of employed persons increased, unemployment rate and underemployment decreased. Labor structure shifted in a positive direction, sharply reduced the share of labor in agriculture, forestry and fishery, increased the share of industry, construction and service sector, labor quality and income of wage workers tended to increase.

The labor force aged 15 years and over in 9 months of 2019 was 55.5 million persons, an increase of 310.9 thousand persons compared to the same period last year (the figure of Q3 2019 was estimated at 55.7 million persons, an increase of 263.8 thousand persons); the labor force in the working age was 48.9 million persons, an increase of 425.6 thousand persons compared to the same period last year. In the third quarter of 2019, the employed population aged 15 years and over was estimated at 54.6 million persons; generally for 9 months of 2019, employed population aged 15 years and over working was estimated at 54.4 million persons, including the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector was 19.1 million persons, shared 35% of the total (a fall of 3.2 percentage points from the same period last year); the industry and construction sector was 15.9 million  persons, made up 29.2% (a rise of 2.6 percentage points); and the service sector was 19.4 million persons with the corresponding share of 35.8% (a growth of 0.6 percentage points).

Unemployment rate in the first 9 months of 2019 was 1.99%, of which the unemployment rate of labor force in urban and rural was 2.94% and 1.52%[13], respectively.

Underemployment rate at working age in 9 months of this year was estimated at 1.32% (Quarter I, Quarter II and Quarter III of 2019 were 1.21%; 1.38%  and 1.38%, respectively), of which the urban and rural area was 0.73% and 1.63%, respectively.

2. People’s living and social security in 9 months of 2019 was generally improved, especially in rural area.

The new rural construction program in recent years had positive effects, contributing to improving the people’s living in rural area, promoting the development of socio-economic infrastructure systems in rural area. By the end of September 2019, in the whole country, 4,458 communes (reaching 50%) and 76 districts were recognized to meet the new rural standards

Farmers’ hunger decreased sharply compared to the same period last year. In September, in the whole country, there were only 5 provinces arising with 0.7 thousand households suffering from food shortage, a fall of 52% over the same period last year, corresponding to 3.2 thousand persons suffering from food shortage, dropping 44.3 %. Generally for 9 months of 2019, the whole country had 67.5 thousand households suffering from food shortage, fell by 33% over the same period last year, corresponding to 273.2 thousand persons suffering from food shortage, dropped 32 %.

Social security continued to be paid attention by authorities. According to the preliminary report, the total value of gifts had been given to policy beneficiaries, national devotees and social protection beneficiaries in 9 months were about 5.1 trillion VND, including 3.1 trillion VND of gifts and supports the policy beneficiaries; 1.2 trillion VND of support poor households and nearly 0.8 trillion VND to help hunger and other social relief. Besides, more than 20 million health insurance cards, free health care books/cards were donated to policy beneficiaries in the whole country.

3. Education and training continued to be concerned, in which the 2019 national graduation exam of upper secondary schools was continuously organized in the direction of reducing pressure and cost for pupils, their families and society; tightening discipline, especially focused on detecting and handling exam cheating as well as created favorable and safe conditions for pupils to take part in the exam.

This year’s exam was held at 1,980 examination places, corresponding to 38,050 examination rooms. The number of registered candidates was 887.1 thousand persons, of which 622.7 thousand candidates registered for admission to universities and colleges, accounting for 70.2% of the total number of candidates registered to take the exam.

At the time of starting the school year 2019-2020, the whole country had 5.5 million pre-school children; 16.9 million general pupils go to school. Currently, there were 2,902 vocational education establishments in the whole country, including 400 colleges; 492 secondary schools, 1,025 vocational education centers and 985 other vocational education establishments[14]. The end of August 2019, vocational training enrolled 1,630 thousand persons, of which college and secondary school enrolled 312 thousand students; short-term training and other vocational training programs enrolled 1,318 thousand students. In addition, in the first nine months of 2019, short-term vocational training would be provided for less than 3 months for about 450 thousands rural employees, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities.

4. Epidemic diseases and food poisoning

Generally for 9 months in the whole country, there were 43.1 thousand cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (2 deaths); 188.5 thousand cases of hemorrhagic fever (36 deaths); 457 cases of viral encephalitis (12 deaths); 22 cases of meningococcal meningitis (1 death); 35.1 thousand cases of hay fever like measles, including 6.5 thousand cases of measles positive (4 deaths).

As of September 18, 2019 the total number of alive HIV-infected persons over the country was 209.8 thousand persons and 96.9 thousand cases turned to AIDS; the number of persons died of HIV/AIDS as of above time-point was 98.4 thousand persons.

In September 2019, there were 6 of food poisoning cases, poisoned 174 persons. Generally, in nine months of 2019, there were 54 food poisoning cases in the whole country, poisoned 1,628 persons, of which 9 died.

5. Cultural activities and sports

Cultural and artistic activities in 9 months of this year focused on celebrating big holidays and important events of the country.

16 national mass sports competitions and 13 training courses were organized for 1,851 officials, referees, coaches, guides, collaborators, physical training and sport teachers, and rescuers.

In the first nine months of 2019, the Vietnam’s sports delegation won 360 gold medals, 269 silver medals and 305 bronze medals at sports competitions at all levels, including the world level with39 gold medals, 33 silver medals and 29 bronze medal; Asian level with75 gold medals, 59 silver medals and 67 bronze medals; Southeast Asia regional level with 230 gold medals, 171 silver medals and 196 bronze medals.

6. Traffic accident in 9 months of 2019 decreased over that in the same period last year in terms of 3 criteria including number of traffic accidents, number of deaths and injuries that thanks to improvement in sense of obeying traffic rules of the people and the implementation of measures to ensure traffic safety.

Generally for nine months, the whole country had 12,675 traffic accidents, including 6,718 traffic accidents of less serious or more and 5,957 traffic collisions, causing 5,659 deaths, 3,633 injuries and 5,986 slightly injured persons. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in 9 months of this year decreased by 4.3% (the number of traffic accidents from less serious or more decreased by 2.1%; the number of traffic collisions decreased by 6.6%); the number of deaths decreased by 5.9%; the number of injured people decreased by 1% and the number of minor injuries fell by 10%. On average, in 9 months, the whole country had 46 traffic accidents a day, including 24 traffic accidents of less serious or more and 22 traffic collisions, causing 21 deaths and 13 injuries and 22 people were slightly injured.

7. Natural disasters, environmental pollution, fire and explosion had significant effect on the people’s life in some localities

According to preliminary reports from localities, in 9 months, natural disasters made 116 people died and missed, 164 injured; 1,421 houses collapsed, swept away; more than 59.6 thousand houses unroofed and damaged; 63.3 thousand hectares of rice and nearly 19 thousand hectares of crops damaged. The total lost caused by natural disasters in 9 months was estimated at 4.6 trillion VND.

Generally, in 9 months, 9,129 environmental violations were detected in the whole country, of which 8,292 cases were handled with a total fine of 88.7 billion VND. There were 2,959 cases of fires and explosions occurred in the whole country in 9 months, killing 76 people and injuring 124 people, the damage was estimated at over 1,057 billion VND./.

[1] The 9-month GDP growth years 2011-2019 was 6.03%, 5.10%, 5.14%, 5.53%, 6.53%, 5.99%, 6.41%, 6.96%, and 6.98%, respectively.

[2] The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.2%, 0.1 percentage points lower than the previous forecast of 3.3% and this is the third time in the year the IMF reduced its global growth forecast. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) continued to lower the forecast for the world economic growth by 0.3 percentage points over the forecast made in May 2019, to 2.9% in 2019.

[3] The safe level of the index of industrial inventory is about 65%.

[4] Source: National Enterprise Registration Information System, Business Registration Management Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment.

[5] The corresponding indices of the second quarter of 2019: 45.2% of enterprises assessed a better the business production situation than the previous quarter; 16.5% of enterprises faced difficulties and 38.3% of enterprises said that the business production situation was stable.

[6] lower than the growth rate of 9 months in 2018 but higher than the rate of 9 months of the years in 2015-2017. The growth rate of retail sales of consumer goods and services in the first 9 months in the years 2015-2019 compared to the same period last year was as follows: 10.8%; 10%; 10.5%; 12.2%; 11.6%.

[7] The following months have achieved over 1.5 million visitors to Vietnam since the beginning year: January: 1.5 million, February: 1.59 million, August: 1.51 million, September: 1.56 million).

[8] The growth of investment capital of State budget in 9 first months over the same period of previous last year of 2015-2019 was respectively: 8,1%; 13,1%; 6,6%; 11,4%; and 4,8%.

[9] Lower than the increase of 20.6% in the first nine months of 2017 and 15.8% in the first nine months of 2018.

[10] Particularly for nine months of 2019, trade surplus to EU reached 20.1 billion USD, fell by 5.9% compared to the same period last year; trade deficit from China was 27.7 billion USD, augmented by 50.4%; trade deficit from South Korea was 20.9 billion USD, edged down by 3.4%; trade deficit from ASEAN reached 4.7 billion USD, expanded by 0.3%.

[11] Average CPI growth rate in 9 months compared to the same period last year: 2017 was 3.79%; 2018 was 3.57% and 2019 was 2.5%.

[12] Merchandize export price index/ Merchandize import price index.

[13] Unemployment rate of labor force in the first months of 2018 was 2.00%, of which urban area was 2.96%; rural area was 1.55%.

[14] As reported by the Directorate of Vocational Education and training (Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs).

1. The gross domestic product (GDP) 2. Agriculture, forestry and fishery sector3. Industry and construction sector