Vietnamese socio-economy in the first 6 months of 2019 took place in the context of the sluggish growth trend of the world economic with increasing risks and challenges. Recent tensions between major economies caused the world trade and investment, as well as the global business confidence to decline, so the International Monetary Fund (IMF) argued that the international economy must face a period of “high uncertainty” when 70% of the world economy including most developed economies experienced the modest growth[1]. Economic activities in developed countries, especially the Euro area as well as some emerging markets were weaker than expected, international organizations all provide the optimistic forecast about the 2019 world economic growth[2]. Geopolitical hot spots showed signs of complexity and increasingly high tensions. The US imposed intensified sanctions on Iran, the complicated movements of oil price and the US dollar not only challenged for the world economy, but also adversely affected Vietnamese economy. In the country, the economy also faced many difficulties and challenges, including complicated weather conditions affecting crop production and yields, difficulties in livestock activity with increasingly widespread African swine fever, sluggish growth of some key export products, and low disbursement of public investment.

In this situation, the Government and the Prime Minister timely and drastically directed the ministries, agencies and localities to implement synchronously and effectively the goals, tasks and solutions in the resolutions of the Party, the National Assembly, and the Government, the directive of the Prime Minister, so the economy in the first 6 months of the year continued to change positively.

      I. ECONOMIC GROWTH

  1. Growth rate of gross domestic product

The gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2019 was estimated to increase by 6.71% over the same period last year, of which the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, the industry and construction sector, and the service sector increased by 2.19%, 9.14%, and 6.85%, respectively. The growth rate in the second quarter of 2019 was lower than that in the second quarter of 2018 by only 0.02 percentage points but higher than the growth rate in the second quarter of years 2011-2017[3]. From the expenditure approach of the GDP, the final consumption increased by 7.01% over the same period last year; the capital formation rose 7.54%; the exports of goods and services expanded 7.27%; the import of goods and services spread 7.38%.

The first 6-month GDP increased by 6.76%, which was lower than the rise in the first 6 months of 2018 but higher than the spread in the first 6 months of years 2011-2017[4], confirming the timeliness and efficiency of the major tasks and solutions issued by the Government to implement the 2019 Socio-Economic Development Plan; as well as efforts of the ministries/agencies and localities in realizing growth targets. In the overall growth of the economy, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, the industry and construction sector, and the service sector increased by 2.39%, 8.93%, 6.69%, which contributing 6%, 51.8%, and 42.2% to the overall growth, respectively.

Regarding the structure of the economy in the first 6 months of this year, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, the industry and construction sector, the service sector, and the product taxes less subsidies on production accounted for 13.55%, 34.2%, 42.04%, and 10.21% of the GDP; (The corresponding structure in the same period of 2018 was: 14.13%; 33.83%; 41.8%; 10.24%).

From the expenditure approach of the first 6-month GDP, the final consumption increased by 7.05% over the same period in 2018; the capital formation rose 7.12%; the exports of goods and services expanded 7.06%; the import of goods and services spread 7.98%.

  1. Agriculture, forestry and fishery

Agriculture, forestry and fishery production in the first 6 months of 2019 was generally stable. Poultry farming developed well. Fishery was recorded the highest growth rate in the past 9 years, production of aquaculture and fishery catching increased significantly. However, the agricultural sector still faced difficulties due to complicated weather conditions affecting the production and yields of crop, and the outbreak of African swine fever spread on a large scale with 10% disposal of dead pigs out of the total population, therefore, the value added of agriculture in the first 6 months only increased by 1.3%, which was much lower than that of 3.07% in the first 6 months of 2018, contributing 0.17 percentage points to the total growth rate Value added of the whole economy; forestry increased by 4.15% holding a low proportion contributed only 0.03 percentage points. The highlight of this region was the fishery grew well at 6.45% due to high demand of consumption market and the highest growth rate of the first 6 months in the past 9 years[5], contributing 0, 21 percentage points.

        a) Agriculture

The cultivated area of ​​winter-spring paddy in the nationwide this year reached 3,123.9 thousand hectares, equaling 100.7% of over the same period last year, of which Northern localities reached 1,117.1 thousand hectares, equaling 99.1%; Southern localities reached 2,006.8 thousand hectares, equaling 101.6%. According to the preliminary report, yield of winter-spring paddy in the nationwide was estimated at 65.7 quintals / hectare, falling by 0.7 quintals / hectare compared with that of over the previous winter-spring crop, estimated yield reached 20.5 million tons, falling by 84.5 thousand tons.

As of mid-June, localities across the country cultivated 1,881.1 thousand hectares of summer-autumn paddy, equaling 98.8% of over the same period last year, of which Mekong River Delta reached 1,502.7 thousand hectares, an increase of 98.6%. Up to now, there was recorded 193 thousand hectares of early summer-autumn paddy in Mekong River Delta for harvest, equaling 108.8% of over the same period in 2018.

As of mid-June, localities across the country cultivated 558.7 thousand hectares of maize, equaling 100.1% of over the same period last year; 79.6 thousand hectares of sweet potatoes, equaling 98.8%; 23.8 thousand hectares of soybeans, equaling 97.5%; 137.8 thousand hectares of groundnut, equaling 96%; 706.6 thousand hectares of vegetables and beans, equaling 102.7%.

As of June 25, 2019, African swine fever was reported in 4,389 communes, 458 districts of 60 provinces and central cities[6]. Total of pig population in the country in June decreased by 10.3% of over the same period last year; Buffalo decreased by 3.1%; cattle increased by 2.6%; poultry increased by 7.5%. Production of pig living weight in the first 6 months reached 1,801.2 thousand tons, falling by 4.7% compared with that of over the same period last year (the second quarter reached 796.8 thousand tons, falling by 12.4%); production of buffalo living weight was estimated at 51.2 thousand tons, rising by 3% (the second quarter reached 24.8 thousand tons, rising by 3.8%); production of cattle living weight reached 192.5 thousand tons, rising by 3.8% (the second quarter reached 93.2 thousand tons, rising by 5.2%); production of poultry living weight reached 660.9 thousand tons, rising by 8.6% (the second quarter reached 322.7 thousand tons, rising by 11.3%). Especially, the second quarter, when the disease situation in pigs was complicated, demand for meat and poultry eggs increased sharply because people had limited to use pork products, production of poultry eggs in 6 months reached nearly 7 billion eggs, rising by 11.4% (the second quarter reached 3.4 billion results, rising by 12.3%), cow milk production in the first 6 months reached 508.4 thousand tons, rising by 8.2% (the second quarter reached 256 , 2 thousand tons, an increase of 9%).

         b) Forestry

Forestry production in the first 6 months of 2019 generally grew stably, focusing mainly on forest tending, protection and logging from forest area for harvesting.

Area of ​​concentrated forest in 6 months was estimated at 110 thousand hectares, falling by 5% of against same period last year, number of dispersed planted trees was 34.4 million, decreasing by 3.2% due to limit of budget sources for a forestation this year and some forest areas was converted to perennial crops. Wood and forest product in the first 6 months of the year was recorded a good growth, the purchasing price of wood was stable due to the increasing demand for raw materials for wood products. Wood production reached 7,030 thousand m3, an increase of 4.4%. Devastation forest area was 685.4 hectares, rising by 36.6% of over the same period last year, of which the forest fired area was 402 hectares, rising by 81.2%; area of ​​forest cut and destroyed was 283.4 hectares, rising by 1.2%.

       c) Fishery

Production of fishery in the first 6 months of 2019 grew quite well due to the increasing demand of the market, the total fishery production was estimated at 3,780.5 thousand tons, rising by 5.8% of over the same period last year (the second quarter) In 2019 which was estimated at 2,311.5 thousand tons, rising by 6.4%), of which fish reached 2,835 thousand tons, rising by 5.6%; shrimp reached 397.8 thousand tons, rising by 7.7%; other fisheries reached 547.7 thousand tons, rising by 5.8%.

Production of aquaculture in the first 6 months reached 1,921.2 thousand tons, rising by 6.7% of over the same period last year (the second quarter was estimated at 1,272.7 thousand tons, rising by (7.4%), of which fish reached 1, 393, 6 thousand tons, rising by 5.9%; shrimp reached 320.3 thousand tons, rising by 9.8%; other fisheries reached 207.3 thousand tons, rising by 7%. Since May until now, raw material Pangasius tended to decrease but Pangasius production in Quarter II increased relatively high compared with that of over the same period last year and which was estimated at 391.7 thousand tons, rising by 7.2%. In 6 months, Pangasius production was estimated at 643.8 thousand tons, rising by 7.7% compared with that of over the same period last year. Also from the middle of May, the price of shrimp tended to decrease, but the shrimp production was recorded to increase significantly due to the high price of shrimp at the beginning of the year, so the farmers actively stocked, and the super-intensive shrimp farming model saw better control of disease. And yield increased from 4-5 times higher than intensive shrimp farming in earthen ponds. Production of black tiger shrimp in the second quarter reached 76 thousand tons, rising by 8.7%; white shrimp production was estimated at 131.1 thousand tons, rising by 11.1%. Generally, the first 6 months in 2019, black tiger shrimp production was estimated at 119.4 thousand tons, an increase of 7.5% of over the same period in 2018; white shrimp production was estimated at 177 thousand tons, rising by 10.7%.

Fishery production in the first 6 months was estimated at 1,859.3 thousand tons, an increase of 5% of over the same period last year (the second quarter was estimated at 1,038.8 thousand tons, rising by 5.1%), of which fish reached 1,441.4 thousand tons, rising by 5.2%; shrimp reached 77.5 thousand tons, falling by 0.3%.

  1. Industrial production

In the industry and construction sector, the industry maintained strong growth in the first 6 months of 2019 with an increase of 9.13% (the figures in the first and second quarter were 9%, and 9.24%, respectively), contributing 3,06 percentage points to the value added growth rate; the construction activities rose 7.85%, contributing 0.48 percentage points. The manufacturing continued to be the bright spot of the whole industrial activities with an increase of 11.18% in the first 6 months, which was lower than the increase in the same period of 2018, but higher than the increase in the first 6 months of years 2012-2017[7]; the production and distribution of electricity increased by 10.63%; the water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities spread 7.79%; the mining and quarrying expanded 1.78% after 3 years of continuous decrease[8] (due to the lower decrease in the extraction of crude oil and high increase in the mining of coal and metal ores).

Generally, in the first 6 months of 2019, the index of industrial shipment of the manufacturing increased by 9.6% over the same period last year (the same period in 2018 increased by 11.9%). The index of industrial inventory of the manufacturing as of 30th June, 2016 was estimated to increase by 16.1% over the same period last year (the figure in the same period last year increased by 11.4%). The average index of industrial inventory of the manufacturing in in the first 6 months of 2019 reached a quite high increase of 74.9%[9] (63.4% in the same period last year).

  1. Enterprise activities

      a. Enterprise registration situation[10]

In the first 6 months of this year, there were nearly 67 thousand newly registered enterprises in the whole country with a total registered capital of 860.2 trillion VND, an upturn of 3.8% in the number of enterprises and 32.5% in the registered capital as compared to the same period in 2018; the average registered capital of a newly established enterprise was 12.8 billion VND, up by 27.7%. If including 1,310.3 trillion VND of the additionally registered capital of enterprises that recorded upward adjustment, the total additional registered capital in the economy in the first 6 months of 2019 was 2,170.5 trillion VND. In addition, there were 21.6 thousand re-operated enterprises,  going up by 31.4% over the same period last year, bringing the total number of newly registered enterprises and re-operated enterprises in 6 May this year to nearly 88.6 thousand enteprises. The total number of registered employees of newly established enterprises in the first 6 months of this year was 649 thousand persons, went up 27.6% over the same period last year.

The number of enterprises ceased for a certain period of time in the first 6 months of this year was 21.1 thousand enterprises, increasing by 17.4% compared to the same period last year; there were 21.8 thousand enterprises temporarily ceased and awaited dissolution, of which 11,000 enterprises were revoked their business registration certificates in line with the 2018 data standardization program, the total number of enterprises temporarily ceased without registration or awaited dissolution; enterprises that announced dissolution were 7.8 thousand enterprises, rose by 18.1%.

        b) Business trends of enterprises

Results on the business trends survey of the manufacturing enterprises in the second quarter of 2019 showed that: 45.2% of enterprises assessed that the business production situation in the second quarter of this year was better than the previous quarter; 16.5% of enterprises faced difficulties and 38.3% of enterprises said that the business production situation was stable[11]. For expected outcome of the third quarter of 2019, 52% of enterprises presented that the trend would get better; 11.4% of enterprises predicted that it would be more difficult and 36.6% of enterprises said that the business production situation would be stable.

  1. Service operation

The service sector in the first 6 months of 2019 achieved a growth of 6.69%, though lower than the rate of 6.89% in the first 6 months of 2017 and 2018 but higher than the rate of the years 2012-2016[12]. In the service sector, the contribution of some large-shared activities to the increase in the total value added was as follows: wholesale and retail increased by 8.09% over the same period last year, which was the major contributor to the growth in total value added of the whole economy (0.86 percentage points); financial, banking and insurance activity increased by 7.9%, contributing 0.37 percentage points; accommodation and catering services increased by 6.48%, contributing 0.3 percentage points; real estate business activity increased by 4.43%, contributing 0.27 percentage points; transportation, storage activity increased by 7.89%, contributing 0.26 percentage points.

Service and trade activities in the first 6 months of this year continued to increase; goods supply in the market was plentiful, which fully and timely met the needs of production and consumption. The consumer market has been expanded and diversified in the form of promotions that contributed to a vibrant market in the first months of 2019. Gross retail sales of consumer goods and services reached a high growth rate over the same period last year, an increase of 11.5%[13], reaching VND 2,391.1 trillion, if excluding the price increase factor 8.7% (the same period in 2018 increased by 8.6%), reflecting that the demand for consumption among the people increased, of which Q.II/2019 was estimated at 1,206.9 trillion VND, up 1.9% compared to the previous quarter and up 11.1% over the same period last year.

By economic activities, retail sales of goods in the first 6 months reached 1,823.6 trillion VND, accounting for 76.3% of the total and up 12.5% over the same period last year; accommodation and catering services was estimated at 286.7 trillion VND, making up 12% of the total and increasing by 9.8%; revenue from tourism and traveling services was estimated at 21.9 trillion VND, accounting for 0.9% of the total and up 13.3%; revenue from other services in the first 6 months was estimated at 258.9 trillion VND, accounting for 10.8% of the total and up 6.3%.

Transport activities in the first 6 months of 2019 were generally stable, 4 out of 5 types of transport achieved good growth rates[14], especially with the launch of a new airline, and the aviation industry quite well met the increasing travel demand of the people, created favorable competition for customers. Generally for the first 6 months of 2019, passenger carriage reached 2,495.7 million passengers, up 10.7% over the same period last year and 113.6 billion passengers-kilometers, up 9.5% (passenger carriage in the Q.II in 2019 reached 1,258.6 million passengers, up 10.5% and 57.8 billion passengers-kilometers, up 8.8%), of which passenger carried by roadway and by airway achieved the highest increase. Passenger carriage by roadway in 6 months reached 2,359.3 million passengers, up 10.9% over the same period last year and 79 billion passengers-kilometers, up 10.3%; airway reached 26.7 million passengers, up 8.3% and 30.6 billion passengers-kilometers, up 8.8%. Freight carriage reached 823.1 million tons, up 8.5% over the same period last year and 156.7 billion tons-kilometers, up 7.1% (freight carriage in the second quarter was estimated at 410.8 million tons, up 8.5% and 78.5 billion tons-kilometers, up 7.7%),

Telecommunications revenue in the first 6 months was estimated to reach 184.3 trillion VND, up 7.13%, if excluding the price factor, gaining an increase of 6.79%. By the end of June 2019, the total number of telephone subscribers was estimated at nearly 138 million, up 11.1% over the same period last year, of which mobile subscribers reached 133.9 million, increased by 11.8%; fixed broadband internet subscribers reached nearly 13.7 million, up 11.3%.

Vietnam continues to be attractive destination for international tourists. The number of visitors has continuously reached over 1 million visitors per month since the beginning of 2019. Generally, in 6 months, international visitors to Vietnam reached nearly 8.5 million people, an increase of 7.5% over the same period last year, of which arrivals by roadway increased the highest with 24.9%, reaching 1,683.5 thousand people; followed by airway with an increase of 4.5%, reaching 6,658.3 thousand. However, the number of visitors is revealing a gradually downward trend. June has witnessed the lowest number of international visitors since the beginning of the year. Compared to the same period last year, international visitors to our country in June increased by only 0.2%, mainly because visitors from Asia who accounted for the majority of visitors to our country, decreased by 0.4%; from Oceania decreased by 6%; while visitors from Europe increased by 2.3%; from America increased by 7.4% and from Africa increased by 6.9%; at the same time the growth rate in the first 6 months of this year was much lower than the increase in the period 2016-2018[15].

  1. Banking and insurance activities

As of 18th June, 2019, the total payment facilities increased by 6.05% compared to the end of 2018 (the rise of same period in 2018 was 8.03%); capital mobilization of credit institutions increased by 6.09% (the growth of same period in 2018 was 7.76%); Credit growth of the economy reached 6.22% (the increase of same period in 2018 was 6.1%).

The insurance activity in the second quarter of 2019 increased positively, estimating to rise 15% in comparison with the same period in 2018, of which the revenue of life insurance increased  by 18%, the non-life insurance expanded by 9%. Generally, the insurance revenue in the first 6 months of 2019 was estimated to increase by 17% over the same period last year, of which life insurance premium revenue spread 21% and non-life insurance increased by 10%.

  1. Development investment

The realized investment in the first six months of 2019 reached a moderate increase of 10.3% over the same period in 2018, estimating to gain 822.9 trillion VND and equaling 33.1% GDP (the quarter II/2019 was estimated to reach 426.8 trillion VND, a rise of 11.2%).  Of which, the non-state economic sector accounted for the largest proportion of the total investment capital, recording 359.1 trillion VND, accounting for 43. 6% of total capital and achieving the highest capital growth rate of 16.4% over the same period previous year. This  was the result of preferential policies, supporting and creating favorable conditions for businesses to expand production and business; Followed by the state sector with 255 trillion VND, accounting for 31% and increasing by 3%; the foreign direct investment reached 208.8 trillion VND, making up 25.4% and rising 9.7%. It is noted that investment of the state budget was not improved much with the lowest increase in the years 2016-2019[16].

Foreign direct investment from the beginning of the year to 20th June, 2019 reached a record for the number of newly registered projects in the first 6 months and the highest value of implemented capital in recent years[17], attracted 1,723 newly licensed projects with a total registered capital of 7,411.8 million USD. Besides, 628 projects which were licensed in the previous years registered to adjust investment capital with the additional capital of 2,935.4 million USD, a fall of 33.8% over the same period last year. Thus, the total newly and additionally registered capital in the first 6 months of 2019 reached 10,347.2 million USD, a decline of 36.3% compared to the same period in 2018. Foreign direct investment capital in the first 6 months was estimated to reach 9.1 billion USD, a rise of 8.1% over the same period in 2018. In the first 6 months, there were 4,020 turns of capital contribution and share purchase by foreign investors with a total value of capital contribution of 8.12 billion USD, up 98.1% over the same period in 2018, of which 625 turns of capital contribution and share purchase increased the chartered capital of the enterprise with the value of contributed capital of 5.48 billion USD and 3,395 turns of foreign investors repurchased domestic shares without increasing their charter capital with a value of 2.64 billion USD.

Vietnam’s outward foreign direct investment in the first 6 months of this year, 71 projects were newly granted investment certificates with the total capital of Viet Nam of 103.9 million USD; 19 projects adjusted capital with the additional capital of 96.1 million USD. Generally, Vietnam’s outward investment (newly granted capital and additionally capital) in the first 6 months of 2019 reached 200 million USD.

  1. State budget revenue and expenditure

In the first 6 months of 2019, the state budget revenue maintained the process and state budget expenditure promptly met requirements of development investment, debt repayment, assurance of national defense, security and social security and the operation of the state apparatus.The state budget revenue from the beginning of the year to 15th June, 2019 was estimated at 660.6 trillion VND, equaling 46.8% of the yearly estimate, of which domestic revenue was 524.8 trillion VND, equaling 44.7%; revenue from crude oil was 26.1 trillion VND, equaling 58.4%; budget balance revenue from import and export activities was 109 trillion VND, equaling 57.6%.

The state budget expenditure from the beginning of the year to 15th June, 2019 was estimated at 612.5 trillion VND, equaling 37.5% of the yearly estimate, of which recurrent expenditure was 441.1 trillion VND, equaling to 44.1%; expenditure on development investment was 112.1 trillion VND, equaling 26.1%; interest payment was 55.9 trillion VND, equaling 44.7%

  1. Export and import of goods and services

      a) Export and import of goods

The total import and export turnover of the first 6 months of 2019 was estimated at 245.48 billion USD, the highest level of 6 months so far. It was worth noting that the export of vegetables and fruits had a good signal when it was the first time their export turnover for 6 months reached over 2 billion USD. The trade balance of goods in 6 months was estimated to have a low trade deficit of 34 million USD (equaled to 0.03% of the total export turnover of 6 months), of which the domestic economic sector had a trade deficit of 15.72 billion USD; FDI sector (including crude oil) saw a trade surplus of 15.68 billion USD.

Export of goods

Export turnover in June 2019 was estimated at 21.60 billion USD, dropped 1.4% over the previous month. In the second quarter of 2019, export turnover was estimated at 63.86 billion USD, rose by 9.3% over the same period in 2018 and rose by 8.5% compared to the first quarter of this year. There were 11 products having export turnover of over 1 billion USD in the second quarter, accounting for 73.6% of total export turnover. Generally, in the first 6 months of this year, export turnover was estimated at 122.72 billion USD, rose by 7.3% over the same period in 2018, of which the domestic economic sector reached 36.82 billion USD, an increase of 10.8%, accounting for 30% of total export turnover; There were 22 products having export turnover of over 1 billion USD, accounting for 86.9% of total export turnover.

Import of goods

Import turnover in June 2019 was estimated at 21.2 billion USD, dropped 8.6% over the previous month. In the second quarter of 2019, import turnover reached 65.31 billion USD, rose by 12.9% over the same period in 2018 and rose by 13.7% compared to the first quarter of this year. There were 15 imported products having turnover at over 1 billion USD, accounting for 72.3% of the total import turnover.

Generally for the first 6 months of this year, import turnover was estimated at 122.76 billion USD, rose by 10.5% over the same period in 2018, of which the domestic economic sector gained 52.54 billion USD, an increase of 14.4%; FDI sector reached 70.22 billion USD, rose by 7.8%; There were 26 products with turnover of over 1 billion USD, accounting for 84.7% of total import turnover.

       b) Export and import of services

In the first 6 months of 2019, service export was estimated at 7.9 billion USD, rose by 6.2% over the same period in 2018 (the second quarter reached 3.8 billion USD, rose by 6.4%), of which travel service reached 5.6 billion USD (accounting for 69.9% of total turnover), rose by 7.8%; transport services reached 1.5 billion USD (accounting for 18.5%), increasing by 2.2%. Service import turnover in the first 6 months of this year was estimated at 9.2 billion USD, rose by 4% over the same period last year, of which transport service gained 4.5 billion USD (accounting for 48.5% of total turnover), rose by 7.1%; tourism services reached 2.8 billion USD (accounting for 30.7%), increasing by 0.7%. Trade deficit of services in the first 6 months of 2019 was 1.3 billion USD, equaling 15.9% of service export turnover.

  1. Price index

     a) Consumer price index

The Government’s goal of stabilizing the macro-economy, controlling inflation, proactively managing petroleum, liquefied gas, electricity, textbook and medical service prices at appropriate times, abundant rice supply … were the factors contributing to the decrease of 0.09% of consumer price index (CPI) in June 2019 compared to the previous month, CPI in the second quarter of 2019 increased by 0.74% compared to the previous month and increased by 2.65% over the same period in 2018, on average CPI of the first 6 months of 2019 increased by 2.64% over the same period in 2018, this was the lowest increase of 6-month CPI in the past 3 years[18]. The average core inflation in the first 6 months of 2019 increased by 1.87% compared to the same period in 2018.

      b) Gold price index and US dollar price index

Domestic gold prices fluctuated according to world gold prices. Political tensions in the Middle East and the expectation that the US Federal Reserve would reduce interest rates made the world gold price reached the highest increase in the last 6 years. Average world gold price as of June 24th, 2019 increased by 5.1% compared to May 2019. Domestically, the gold price index in June 2019 increased by 1.98% over the previous month; grew by 4.29% compared to December 2018 and increased by 1.74% compared to the same period last year.

USD price index in June 2019 increased by 0.3% over the previous month; rose by 0.29% compared to December 2018 and increased by 2.52% compared to the same period in 2018.

      c) Producer price index (PPI) and import and export price index

PPI for agriculture, forestry and fishery in the second quarter of 2019 decreased by 1.36% compared to the previous quarter and increased by 0.98% over the same period last year; similarly, the PPI for industry increased by 1.34% and 2.28%, respectively; PPI for services increased by 0.39% and 3.3%. Generally for the first 6 months of 2019, the PPI for agriculture, forestry and fishery increased by 2.29% over the same period in 2018, the PPI for industry increased by 1.86%, only the PPI for services increased by 3.37%.

In the second quarter of 2019, the merchandise export price index decreased by 0.36% compared to the previous quarter and increased by 2.11% over the same period last year; Similarly, the merchandise import price index of increased by 0.31% and 0.78%, respectively; merchandise term of trade[19] in the second quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.66% compared to the previous quarter and increased by 1.32% over the same period last year. Generally for the first 6 months of 2019, the merchandise export price index increased by 2.77% over the same period last year, the merchandise import price index increased by 0.95%; merchandise term of trade increased by 1.79% over the same period in 2018%.

      II. SOCIAL ISSUES

  1. Labor and employment

In the whole country, the situation of labor and employment in the first 6 months of 2019 showed positive changes. In comparison with the same period last year, the number of employed persons increased, labor structure shifted in a positive direction, sharply reduced the share of labor in agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, increased the share of industry, construction and service sector. Unemployment, underemployment decreased, income of wage workers tended to increase.

In the first 6 months of 2019, the labor force aged 15 and over was 55.4 million persons, an increase of 334 thousand persons compared to the same period last year (In the second quarter of 2019, this figure was 55.5 million persons, a rise of 335.1 thousand persons over the same period last year); the labor force in working age was estimated at 48.9 million persons, a year on year rise of 454.4 thousand persons. In the second quarter of 2019, the employed population aged 15 and over was estimated at 54.4 million persons; Generally for the first 6 months, 54.3 million persons, of which employees of the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector accounted for 35.3%. (A decrease of 3.1 percentage points compared to the same period last year); the industry and construction sector shared 28.9% (an increase of 2.3 percentage points); the service sector was 19.4 million persons, with the corresponding of 35.8% (a growth of 0.8 percentage points).

The national unemployment rate for the first 6 months of 2019 was 1.99% (the first quarter was 2.00%, the second quarter was estimated at 1.98%), of which the urban area was 2.95%; rural area was 1.51%[20].

The underemployment rate of working-age laborers in the first 6 months of this year was 1.29% (the first quarter was 1.21%; the second quarter was estimated at 1.38%), of which urban area was 0.77%; rural area was 1.57%[21].

  1. Residential life and social security

The living standards of the population in the first 6 months of 2019 were generally improved, thanks to the drastic guidance of all levels, sectors and efforts of the people, especially in rural area. The new rural construction program in recent years had positive effects, contributing to improving the lives of people in rural area, promoting the development of the socio-economic infrastructure system in the rural area. The system of cultural and physical foundations and schools were newly built and renovated to meet standards, crop support programs for agricultural production, preferential lending policies for poor and near-poor households. … contributed to helping farmers develop production, improve their lives. By the end of June 2019, in the whole country, 4,402 communes (reaching 49.4%) and 76 districts were recognized to meet the new rural standards.

Farmers’ hunger decreased sharply compared to the same period last year. In June, there were 1.7 thousand households suffering from food shortage, a fall of 44.5% over the same period last year, corresponding to 6.9 thousand persons suffering from food shortage, down 44.7%. Generally for the first 6 months of 2019, the whole country recorded 65 thousand households suffering from food shortage, dropped 30.9% over the same period last year, corresponding to 261.9 thousand persons suffering from food shortage, fell by 30%.

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 the first 6 months of 2019 were more than 4 trillion VND, including 2.2 trillion VND of gifts and supports the policy beneficiaries; 1.2 trillion VND of support poor households and nearly 0.7 trillion VND to help hunger and other social relief. Besides, nearly 19 million health insurance cards, free health care books /cards were donated to policy beneficiaries in the whole country.

  1. Education and training

In the school year 2018-2019, there were 16.5 million general pupils in the whole country, an increase of 4% over the previous year, including: 8.5 million primary school pupils, an increase of 6.2%; 5.4 million lower secondary school pupils, a rise of 1.5% and 2.6 million pupils in upper secondary schools, an increase of 2%.

There were nearly 900 thousand students registered to take the 2019 national graduation exam of upper secondary schools, held in the direction of tightening discipline, especially detecting the handling of exam fraud and creating favorable and safe conditions for students to take the exam.

In the first 6 months of this year in the country, vocational training enrolled nearly 1.1 million students, reached 47.8% of the annual plan, of which there were 112 thousand vocational college and secondary students, gained 20%

  1. Epidemic diseases and food poisoning

Generally for 6 months in the whole country, there were nearly 18.9 thousand cases of hand, foot and mouth disease; 70.8 thousand cases of hemorrhagic fever (3 deaths); 255 cases of viral encephalitis (10 deaths); 11 cases of meningococcal meningitis (1 death); 27.4 thousand cases of measles rash suspected, including 4.7 thousand cases of measles positive and 36 food poisoning cases in the whole country, poisoned 866 persons, of which 5 died.

  1. Cultural and sport activities

 In the first 6 months cultural and artistic activities focused on big holidays and important events of the country. Programs of professional and popular arts, folk games were widely organized from the central to local levels with rich content, national cultural identity, attracting a large number of people to participate in.

The mass sports movement took place vigorously throughout the localities with a variety of activities such as organizing folk games, traditional sports, implementing the campaign “All people train their bodies to follow the example of Great Uncle Ho”, associated with the campaign “All people unite to build a cultural life” and the “New rural construction program”, the Olympic running day for the health of the whole people, the movement for the whole people to practice swimming, prevent drowning in 2019.

Regarding high performance sports, in the first 6 months of 2019, Vietnam sports delegation won 91 gold medals, 69 silver medals and 95 bronze medals in international arenas.

  1. Traffic accident

Generally, in the first 6 months of 2019, the country had 8,204 traffic accidents, including 4,418 traffic accidents from less serious and 3,786 traffic collisions, making 3,759 persons dead, 2,463 persons injured and 3,858 persons slightly injured. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in the first 6 months of this year decreased by 8.8% (the number of traffic accidents from less serious decreased by 4.9%; the number of traffic collisions decreased by 13.1%); the number of deaths decreased by 8.4%; the number of injured persons decreased by 0.1% and the number of slightly injuried persons decreased by 15.4%. On average, per 1 day in 6 months, the whole country had 45 traffic accidents, including 24 traffic accidents from less serious and 21 traffic collisions, causing 21 deaths, 14 injured and 21 slightly injured persons.

  1. Damages caused by natural disasters and fire and explosion prevention

Natural disasters in the first 6 months of the year made 29 persons dead and missing, 39 injured; 649 houses collapsed and swept away, 19.7 thousand houses flooded and damaged; nearly 9.4 thousand hectares of rice and 8.3 thousand hectares of crops damaged. The total value of damaged property was estimated at more than 464 billion VND.

Generally for the first 6 months of the year, there were 1,911 fires and explosions in the whole country, causing 63 deaths and 98 injuries, estimated damage was over 677 billion VND./.

 

[1] World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings dated 12th April, 2019.

[2] The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3%, 0.2 percentage points lower than the previous forecast of 3.5% and this is the second time in the year IMF dropped its global growth forecast. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also lowered its forecast to 3.2%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points, for world economic growth in 2019. Meanwhile, the World Bank (WB) only forecasted that global economic growth in 2019 reached at 2.6%, a decline of 0.3 percentage points from the its forecast of 2.9% in January.

[3] The second quarter GDP growth of years 2011-2019 was 5.93%, 5.08%, 5.0%, 5.34%, 6.47%, 5.78%, 6.36%, 6.73%, and 6.71%, respectively.

[4] The 6-month GDP growth of years 2011-2019 was 5.92%, 4.93%, 4.90%, 5.22%, 6.32%, 5.65%, 5.83%, 7.05%, and 6.76%, respectively.

[5] The growth rate of value added of fishery in 6 months of some years: In 2011 by 3.40%; in 2012 by 4.85%; in 2013 by 2.34%; in 2014 by 5.89%; in 2015 by 3.30%; in 2016 by 1.25%; in 2017 by 5.08%; in 2018 by 6.29%; in 2019 by 6.45%.

[6] African swine fever was not seen in the following localities: Ninh Thuan, Tay Ninh and Ben Tre.

[7] The added value growth rate of the manufacturing activities in the 6 months of years 2012-2019 was 8.96%, 5.61%, 6.61%, 10.0%, 10.50%, 10.52%, 12.87%, and 11.18%, respectively.

[8] The fluctuation in the value added growth of the mining and quarrying in the first 6 months of years 2016-2019 was as follows:  a decrease of 2.25 %; a reduction of 7.8 %; a decline of 1.32%; an increase of 1.78%.

[9] The safe level of the index of inventory was at 65%.

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

[11] Corresponding index for the first quarter of 2019: 33.7% of enterprises assessed  the business production situation was better than the previous quarter; 25.8% of enterprises faced more difficulties and 40.5% of enterprise said  that the production business situation was stable.

[12] The growth rate in value added of the service sector in 6 months in the years 2012-2019 was as follows: 2012: 6.11%; 2013: 6.13%; 2014: 5.82%; 2015: 5.86%; 2016: 6.47%; 2017: 6.89%; 2018: 6.89%; 2019: 6.69%.

[13] which was lower than the rate of 6 months in 2018 but higher than that of 6 months in 2015-2017. Growth rate of gross retail sales of consumer goods and services of 6 months in 2015-2019 compared to the same period previous was: 10.6%; 10%; 10.3%; 11.9%; 11.5% respectively.

[14] Railway continued its downward trend in both passenger and freight carriages due to limitations in train capacity, low technical speeds, and inconvenient connection with other modes of transportation.

[15] Growth rate of international visitors to Vietnam in the first 6 months in 2016-2019 was as follows: 2016: 22.9%; 2017: 30.2%; 2018: 27.2%; 2019: 7.5%.

[16] The growth rate of investment capital of the state budget in the first 6 months compared to the same period of previous years: 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 was 11.7%, 6.1%, 9.5% and 3.7%, respectively

[17] The number of newly licensed projects in 6 months of years 2015-2019 was: 757; 1,145; 1,183; 1,366 and  1,723 projects, respectively.

[18] Average CPI in the first 6 months of 2017, 2018, 2019 increased by 4.15%; 3.29% and 2.64%, respectively over the same period last year.

[19] Merchandise export price index/ merchandise import price index.

[20] 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%.

[21] Underemployment rate of labor force in in the first months of 2018 was 1.47%, of which urban area was 0.64%; rural area was 1.89%.