INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC ECONOMIC CONTEXT
The country’s socio-economic situation in the first quarter of 2021 took place in the context of the world economy showing signs of recovery after efforts to research and deploy vaccination against the Covid-19 epidemic in many countries around the world gender. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and other international organizations have given positive forecasts on the global economic outlook. The strong economies in the world such as the US, China, Japan, and the EU are forecasted to achieve good growth thanks to efforts to vaccinate and issue economic bailout packages. The world commodity prices tended to increase, and global stock markets rose sharply. Domestically, following the recovery and positive growth from the fourth quarter of 2020, our country’s macroeconomy continues to be stable, the weather in the first months of the year is relatively favorable, controlling African swine fever was good. These were favorable conditions for production and business. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 in some provinces and cities at the end of January has posed many challenges in the management, direction, and administration of economic development and ensuring social security.
Facing advantages and difficulties, from the beginning of the year, the Government and the Prime Minister instructed ministries, branches, and localities to synchronously, flexibly, and effectively implement “dual goals” for both prevention and combat epidemic diseases, protecting the people’s health, socio-economic recovery and development, at the same time, striving to best achieve the goals and tasks of socio-economic development in 2021. Achievements Of sectors and fields in the first quarter of this year as follows:
I. ECONOMIC GROWTH
1. Gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2021 is estimated to increase by 4.48% over the same period last year, higher than the growth rate of 3.68% in the first quarter of 2020, despite being affected by the Covid -19 in some localities shows the drastic and timely direction and administration of the Government, the Prime Minister and the efforts of all levels, sectors, people and businesses to continue the effective implementation the dual goal “both preventing pandemics and developing economy”.
In the general growth of the whole economy, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector increased by 3.16% over the same period last year (contributing 8.34% to the general growth); industry and construction increased by 6.3% (contributing 55.96%), of which the processing and manufacturing continued to play a driving force in the growth of the economy with an increase of 9.45%; service sector increased by 3.34% (contributing 35.7%), of which market services such as: Wholesale and retail increased 6.45%; finance, banking and insurance increased by 7.35%.
Regarding the economic structure in the first quarter of 2021, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector accounted for 11.71%; industry and construction accounted for 36.45%; the service sector accounts for 42.20%; Product tax minus product subsidies accounts for 9.64% (The corresponding structure of the same period in 2020 is 11.66%; 35.86%; 42.82%; 9.66%).
From the perspective of using GDP in the first quarter of 2021, final consumption increased by 4.59% over the same period in 2020; asset accumulation increased 4.08%; exports of goods and services rose 17.01%; imports of goods and services rose 16.38%.
2. The production of agriculture, forestry and fishery in the first quarter of 2021 took place in relatively favorable weather conditions: severe cold, damaging cold as well as drought, salinity intrusion not as harshly as the same period last year. Rice yield and perennial crop yield were good; the population of pigs continued to recover. Forestry production has developed, the export market for timber and forest products expanded. Fishery production was more positive than the same period last year, the price of pangasius and commercial shrimp tends to increase.
As of the middle of March, the country cultivated 2,973.4 thousand hectares of winter-spring paddy, equaling 99.4% compared with the same period last year, of which: Northern provinces reached 1,056.4 thousand hectares, equaling 99%; Southern provinces reached 1,917 thousand hectares, equaling 99.6%, particularly the Mekong River Delta region reached 1,518.1 thousand hectares, equaling 98.2%. Up to now, whole this region has gained 731.3 thousand hectares of winter-spring rice harvested, the yield reached 70.2 quintals/ha, an increase of 1.9 quintals/ha compared to the previous year; the production was estimated at 10.66 million tons, increasing more than 85 thousand tons.
Also, as of mid-March, Mekong River Delta provinces basically completed harvesting winter paddy 2020-2021. The total cultivated area of the whole region reached 150.7 thousand hectares, an equaled to 89.1% compared with the previous winter paddy season, the yield was quite good at 49.4 quintals/ha, an increase by 0.7 quintals/ha compared to the yield of the previous crop year, but due to a deep decrease in the area, the production reached 665.2 thousand tons, a decrease by 95.1 thousand tons.
As of middle of March, localities in the country cultivated 333 thousand hectares of maize, equaling 100.7% compared with the same period last year; 54.1 thousand hectares of sweet potatoes, equaling 93.9%; 11.9 thousand hectares of soybean, equaling 88.8%; 107.3 thousand hectares of groundnut, equaling 97%; 558.8 thousand hectares of vegetables and beans, equaling 100.1%.
In quarter I of 2021, some perennial industrial crops were harvested, of which: cashew production was estimated at 193.1 thousand tons, fell 0.7% compared with the same period last year; pepper reached 200 thousand tons, fell 0.5%; rubber reached 119 thousand tons, grew up 1.6%; teashoot reached 154.9 thousand tons, grew up 1.9%. Production of some fruit increased quite well: pomelo was estimated at 143.3 thousand tons, grew up 2.4% compared with the same period in 2020; dragon-fruit reached 326.3 thousand tons, grew up 4.3%; mango reached 236.7 thousand tons, grew up 1.3%; pineapple reached 134.3 thousand tons, grew up 7%; bananas reached 653.4 thousand tons, grew up 2.5%.
Buffalo population in the country in March continued to decrease by 2.3% compared with the same period last year, production of buffalo living weight reached 32.2 thousand tons, rose by 0.7%. Cattle population increased by 4.4% in March, 2021. Production of buffalo living weight reached 32.2 thousand tons in the first quarter of 2021, rose by 0.7% compared with the same period last year; production of cattle living weight reached 120.7 thousand tons, grew up 4.8%; production of cow milk reached 270.1 thousand tons, rose by 5.1%. Poultry breeding continued to recover across the country. The pig population in the country as of the end of March increased by 11.6% compared with the same period last year; production of pig living weight in the first quarter reached 1,018.8 thousand tons, rose by 7.5%. The total herd and poultry production continued to grow due to the expansion of the population size and the well-developed corporate sector, the total poultry population in March was estimated to increase by 8.3% compared with the same period last year; production poultry living weight in the first quarter of 2021 reached 513.6 thousand tons, rose by 5.2%; production of poultry eggs in the first quarter reached nearly 4.5 billion eggs, rose by 3.5%.
It is estimated that in the first quarter of 2021, the newly concentrated planted forest area nationwide reached 33.2 thousand hectares, up 1.8% over the same period last year; the number of scattered planted trees reached 26.4 million trees, an increase of 1.9%; the exploited timber production reached nearly 3 million m3, an increase of 4%; the exploited firewood production reached nearly 4.5 million ste, down 0.2%; the damaged forest area was 357 ha, down 3.8% against the same period last year, of which forest fires area was 115 ha, down 28.6%; destroyed forest area was 242 ha, increasing by 15.2%.
Fishery production in March was estimated at 683.9 thousand tons, up 3% over the same period last year, of which fish gained 485.9 thousand tons, up 1.3%; shrimp reached 69.8 thousand tons, up 8.1%; others reached 128.2 thousand tons, up 7.4%. In the first quarter of 2021, the fishery production was estimated at 1,825.3 thousand tons, up 2.1% over the same period last year, of which fish gained 1360.1 thousand tons, up 1.1%; shrimp reached 170.8 thousand tons, up 5.8%; others reached 294.4 thousand tons, up 4.7%.
Estimated in the first quarter of 2021, pangasius production reached 321.8 thousand tons, up 0.8% over the same period last year, of which An Giang reached 105 thousand tons, up 2.9%; Can Tho reached 33.2 thousand tons, up 0.3%. Vannamei prices in mid-March in comparison with early January increased in sizes from 20-50 shrimp/kg, slightly decreased for sizes from 60-130/kg. The model of super-intensive and two-stage vannamei farming is still developing. Black tiger shrimp prices did not change compared to the beginning of the year and increased compared to the middle of March last year. Some ineffective black tiger shrimp farming areas have been switched to Vannamei farming. Generally in the first quarter of 2021, the production of black tiger shrimp was estimated at 47.1 thousand tons, up 0.3% over the same period last year; production of Vannamei reached 77.7 thousand tons, up 8.6%.
3. Industry in the first quarter of 2021 achieved a growth rate of 6.5% over the same period last year; of which the manufacturing increased by 9.45%, higher than the growth rate of 7.12% in the same period last year but lower than the growth rate of 14.30% in the first quarter of 2018 and 11.52% of the quarter I/2019; electricity production and distribution grew stably; The mining industry fell sharply mainly due to the sharp decline in crude petroleum and natural gas.
The added value of the whole industry in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated to increase by 6.5% over the same period last year. In which, the manufacturing increased by 9.45%; electricity production and distribution increased 4.5%; Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities increased 3.78%; the mining and quarrying decreased by 8.24% due to the sharp decline in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction.
Overall, for the quarter I/2020, the index of industrial shipment of the manufacturing increased by 5.8% over the same period last year (the quarter I/2020 increased by 2.8%). The Inventory index of the manufacturing as of March 31, 2021 increased by 22.5% over the same period last year (increased by 24.9% in the same period in 2020); The average index of industrial inventory of the manufacturing in the quarter I/2021 reached 75.1% (78.4% in quarter I/2020).
4. The number of newly established enterprises in the first 3 months of 2021 decreased by 1.4% compared to the same period in last year, but the registered capital increased by 27.5%, the reason iwas increaincreasing se the number of enterprises with registered capital of over 100 billion VND (up by 36.8%) and reduceing the number of businesses with registered capital below 10 billion VND (down by 3.3%). The enterprises ceased for a certain period of time, an increase of 28.2% compared to the same period in 2020; enterprises completed dissolution procedures, an increase of 26.4%. These awere mostly young, small-sized and vulnerable businesses due to negative external influences. Results on the business tendency survey of the of the manufacturing enterprises showed that enterprises expected their production and business in the second quarter of 2021 to be better than the first quarter of 2021.
a) Enterprise registration status
Generally, in the first 3 months of this year, the whole country had nearly 29.3 thousand newly registered enterprises with a total registered capital of 447.8 trillion VND and a total number of registered employees of 245.6 thousand employees, down by 1.4% in the number of enterprises, an increase of 27.5% in number the registered capital and an increase of 0.8% in the number of employees compared to the same period in last year. The average registered capital of a newly established enterprise in 3 months achieved 15.3 billion VND, climbing up 29.2% compared to the same period last year. If including 525.3 trillion VND of the additionally registered capital of 9.6 thousand enterprises that recorded an upward adjustment of capital, the total additional registered capital in the economy in 3 months of this year was 973.1 trillion VND. Besides, there were 14.7 thousand re-operated enterprises, a decrease of 0.5% over the same period last year, bringing the total number of newly registered enterprises and re-operated enterprises in 3 months to 44 thousand enterprises, the average every month had nearly 14.7 thousand newly established enterprises and re-operated enterprises.
In 3 months this year, there were 40.3 thousand enterprises temporarily ceased for a certain time, temporarily ceased and awaited dissolution procedures, and completed dissolution procedures, an increase of 15.6% over the same period last year, including the number of enterprises temporarily ceased for a certain time was 23.8 thousand enterprises, increasing by 28.2% compared to the same period last year; 11.3 thousand enterprises temporarily ceased and awaited dissolution procedures, a decline of 7.3%; 5,2 thousand enterprises completed dissolution procedures, an increase of 26.4%. On average, 13.4 thousand enterprises withdrawing from the market each month.
b) Business trends of the enterprises
Results of the business tendency survey of manufacturing enterprises in the first quarter of 2021 showed that: 29.6% of enterprises assessed that the business production situation in the first quarter of this year was better fourth quarter of 2020; 31.4% of enterprises faced difficulties and 39% of enterprises said that the business production situation was stable. For expected outcome of the second quarter of 2021, 51% of enterprises presented that the tendency would get better; 14.9% of enterprises predicted that it would be more difficult and 34.1% of enterprises said that the business production situation would be stable.
5. Trade and service activities in March tendency to recover when the Covid-19 is under control. Generally, in the first quarter of 2021, gross retail sales of consumer goods and services increased by 5.1% over the same period last year.
Gross retail sales of consumer goods and services reached 1,291.1 trillion VND, up 5.1% over the same period last year. By economic activities, retail sales of goods in the first quarter of this year were estimated at 1,033.2 trillion VND, accounting for 80.1% of the total and increasing 6.8% over the same period last year; revenue from accommodation and catering services in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 124 trillion VND, accounting for 9.6% of the total amount and down 3%; revenue from tourism and traveling in the first quarter was estimated at 3.1 trillion VND, accounting for 0.2% of the total and down 60.1% (down 24.8% in the same period in 2020); revenue from other services in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 130.8 trillion VND, accounting for 10.1% of the total and up 3.9%.
Passengers carried in the first quarter of 2021 reached 1,012.3 million passengers, a decrease of 11.8% over the same period last year (the first quarter of 2020 down 6.1%) and passengers traffic gained 42.2 billion passengers-km, a decline of 20.9% (the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 8%). Freight carried in the first quarter reached 472.6 million tons, up 10.2% against the similar period last year (the same period in 2020 rose by 1.1%) and freight traffic gained 86.1 billion tons-km, went up 4.4% (the identical period last year witnessed a 0.1% growth).
Telecommunications revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 78.9 trillion VND, a decrease of 0.3% compared to the same period last year. The total number of telephone subscribers by the end of March 2021 was estimated at 128.1 million subscribers, an increase of 0.3% compared to the same period last year, of which mobile phone subscribers reached 125 million subscribers, up 0.7%; the number of fixed broadband internet subscribers recorded 17.2 million subscribers, climbing by 12.1%.
International visitors to Viet Nam in March were estimated at 19.4 thousand arrivals, went up 77.3% compared to the previous month and decreased 95.7% compared to the same period last year. Generally, in the first quarter of 2021, international visitors to Viet Nam was estimated at 48.1 thousand arrivals, went down by 98.7% compared to the same period last year, of which visitors coming by airway gained 31 thousand persons, accounting for 64.5% of the number of international visitors to Viet Nam, dropped by 99%; by roadway achieved 16.9 thousand arrivals, accounted for 35.2% and went down by 96.9%; by seaway achieved 129 arrivals, accounted for 0.3% and decreased nearly by 99.9%. International visitors to Viet Nam from Asia recorded 42.6 thousand visitors, accounted for 88.6% of the total, decreased by 98.4% over the same period last year. Visitors from Europe in the first quarter reached 3.6 thousand arrivals, down 99.5% compared to the same period last year; from America gained 1.3 thousand arrivals, down 99.5%; visitors from Oceania reached 325 arrivals, dropped by 99.7%; from Africa reached 303 visitors, reduced by 97.5%.
6. The Covid-19 was controlled, production and business activities returned to normal status, making the demand for credit of the economy increased; the insurance market maintained a steady growth rate; The stock market grew well with the total mobilization of capital for the economy in the first quarter of 2021 increasing 42% over the same period last year.
As of March 19, 2021, the total liquidity increased by 1.49% compared to the end of 2020 (the same period last year increased by 1.55%); capital mobilization of credit institutions increased by 0.54% (by the same period in 2020 increased by 0.51%); credit growth of the economy was 1.47% (at the same time in 2020 it was 0.68%).
Total insurance premium revenue of the whole insurance market in the first quarter of 2021 is estimated to increase by 9% over the same period in 2020, of which non-life insurance premium revenue by 6% and life insurance premium revenue by 11%.
From the beginning of the year until now, the total mobilization on the stock market is estimated at 55,562 billion dongs, up 42% over the same period last year. On the stock market, as of 11:00 on March 24, 2021, the VNIndex reached 1,170 points, up 0.3% from the end of the previous month and 6.08% from the end of 2020; stock market capitalization as of March 18, 2021 reached VND 5,916 trillion dongs, up 11.8% compared to the end of 2020; Generally, from the beginning of the year until now, the average transaction value reached 18,907 billion dongs/session, up 155% compared to the average of the last year. On the bond market, the market currently has 467 listed bond codes with a listed value of 1,382 trillion VND, up 0.4% year on year. On the derivative stock market, in the first quarter of 2021, the average trading volume reached 174,324 contracts/session, an increase of 11% compared to the previous year’s average.
7. The realized investment in the first quarter of 2021 at current price was 507.6 trillion VND, increased by 6.3% compared to the same period in 2020, that indicated positive signs of using investment capital for economic development in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic basically successfully controlled in Vietnam. This is also an important driving force for the mobilization and use of social investment capital to continue to grow strongly in the next quarters of 2021.
The realized investment in the first quarter of 2021 at current prices was estimated at 507.6 trillion VND, a growth of 6.3% over the same period last year, of which: the investment capital of the State sector reached 122.4 trillion VND, representing 24.1% of the total capital and increasing by 7.5% compared to the same period last year; the non-state sector gained 290.1 trillion VND, accounting for 57.2% and rising by 5.7%; the foreign direct investment recorded 95.1 trillion VND, accounting for 18.7% and decreasing by 6.5%.
The foreign direct investment capital from the beginning of the year to 20th March, 2021 including newly registered capital, adjusted investment capital and the total value of capital contribution reached 10.13 billion USD, decreased by 18.5% compared to the same period in 2020. Of which, 234 newly licensed projects with a registered capital of 7.2 billion USD, a decrease of 69.1% in the number of projects and a growth of 30.6% of registered capital compared to the same period last year; 161 turns of projects licensed in the previous years registered to adjust investment capital with the additional capital of 2.1 billion USD, a growth of 97.4%; 734 turns of capital contribution and share purchases of foreign investors with a total value of a capital contribution of 805.3 million USD, causing a drop of 58.8%., including 179 turns of capital contribution capital, share purchase increased charter capital of the enterprise with the value of contributed capital of 281 million USD and 555 turns of foreign investors repurchased domestic shares without increasing the charter capital with a value of 524.3 million USD. Foreign direct investment capital that implemented in quarter I/2021 reached 4.1 billion USD, a growth of 6.5% over the same period last year.
Vietnam’s outward investment in the 3 months of this year had 14 projects newly granted investment certificates with a total capital of 140.2 million USD from Vietnam, 6 times higher than the same period last year; there were 6 projects adjusted capital with additional capital of 431.9 million USD. Generally, the total investment capital of Vietnam to abroad (newly and additionally capital) reached 572.1 million USD.
8. The Covid-19 has strictly controlled, the domestic production and business activities which returned to normal as before the Tan Suu Lunar New Year had a positive impact on State budget revenues and expenditures in the first 15 days of March. Investment and development expenditure in the period had a good change, including timely support procurement of medical supplies and equipment to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic.
Total estimated State budget revenues from the beginning of the year to March 15, 2020 achieved 320.1 trillion VND, equaling 23.8% of the annual estimate, of which domestic revenues recorded 269 trillion VND, equaling 23.7%; crude oil revenue gained 6.5 trillion VND, equaling 28%; budget balance revenue from export-import balance obtained 44.1 trillion VND, equaling 24.7%.
Total State budget expenditures from the beginning of the year to March 15th, 2021 was estimated at 264.2 trillion VND, equaling 15.7% of the annual estimate, of which recurrent expenditures were 196.8 trillion VND, equaling 19%; expenditure on development investment achieved 39.1 trillion VND, equaling 8.2%; 27.9 trillion VND were spent on interest payment, equaling 25.4%.
9. The first quarter of 2021 recorded a strong recovery of import and export activities. Total import-export turnover in this quarter was estimated at 152.65 billion USD, rose 24.1% over the same period last year, of which export turnover reached 77.34 billion USD, increased by 22%; import reached 75.31 billion USD, increased by 26.3%. The trade balance in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated to have a trade surplus of 2.03 billion USD.
a) Export and import of goods
Export turnover in March 2021 was estimated at 28.6 billion USD, increased by 41.6% over the previous month. Generally, in the first quarter of 2021, the export turnover was estimated at 77.34 billion USD, rose by 22% over the same period in 2020, of which, the domestic economic sector was 18.3 billion USD, went up 4.9%, accounting for 23.7% of total export turnover; the FDI sector (including crude oil) attained 59.04 billion USD, increased by 28.5%, sharing 76.3%. In the first quarter of 2021, there were 11 products with an export turnover of over 1 billion USD, contributing 76.6% to the total export turnover (4 products with export turnover of over 5 billion USD, accounting for 54.7%).
Import turnover in March 2021 was estimated at 28.2 billion USD, rose by 36.5% over the previous month. Generally, in the first quarter of 2021, the import turnover was estimated at 75.31 billion USD, increased by 26.3% over the same period in 2020, of which the domestic economic sector reached 25.05 billion USD, went up by 17%; the FDI sector gained 50.26 billion USD, edged up by 31.5%. In the first quarter of 2021, there were 15 imported products with a turnover of over 1 billion USD, accounting for 73.3% of total import turnover (2 products with export turnover of over 5 billion USD, accounting for 36.7%).
The trade balance of goods in February 2021 witnessed a trade deficit of 460 million USD; trade surplus for 2 months was 1.63 billion USD; trade surplus for March 2021 was 400 million USD; trade surplus in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 2.03 billion USD, of which the domestic economic sector saw a trade deficit of 6.75 billion USD; the FDI sector (including crude oil) saw a trade surplus of 8.78 billion USD.
b) Export and import of services
In the first quarter of 2021, export turnover of services reached 869 million USD, decreased by 77.2% over the same period in 2020, of which travel service gained 34 million USD (accounting for 3.9% of the total turnover), decreased by 98.6%; transportation service reached 70 million USD (accounting for 8.1%), decreased by 86.9%. Service import turnover in this quarter was estimated at 4.98 billion USD, edged down by 1.5% over last year, of which transport services gained 2.38 billion USD (accounting for 47.7% of total turnover), increased by 25%; tourism services reached 900 million USD (sharing 18.1%), declined by 34.8%. Trade deficit of services in the first quarter of 2021 was 4.11 billion USD, nearly 5 times the service export turnover and higher than 2.86 billion USD compared to 2020.
10. Consumers’ demand for shopping after the Lunar New Year decreased according to the annual rule, the decrease in the price of foodstuff due to abundant supplies were the main reasons for the consumer price index (CPI) of March 2021 to drop 0.27% over the previous month, up 1.31% over December 2020. Compared to the same period last year, CPI in March increased by 1.16%, the lowest level since 2016; average CPI in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.29%, the lowest increase level in the past 20 years. Producer price index (PPI) for agriculture, forestry and fishery products in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 1.34% compared to quarter IV/2020 and by 4.54% compared to the same period last year; PPI for industry products increased by 1.04% and by 0.27%; PPI for services increased by 0.01% and fell by 0.27%; the price index of raw materials, fuel used for production increased by 2.14% and 4.63%. The merchandise export price index in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.75% over the quarter IV/2020 and decreased by 0.3% over the same period last year; the merchandise import price index increased by 1.54% and by 1.2%. Merchandise’s term of trade in the first quarter of 2021 decreased by 0.78% compared to the quarter IV/2020 and decreased by 1.49% over the same period last year.
a) Consumer price index
In the decrease of 0.27% of the consumer price index (CPI) in March 2021 compared to February 2021, there were 7/11 groups of goods and services have decreased price indexes, of which: Food and catering services had the highest decrease of 1.46%. The average CPI of the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.29% compared to the same period of 2020; CPI in March 2021 increased by 1.31% over December 2020 and rose by 1.16% over the same period of 2020. The average core inflation of the first quarter of 2021 grew by 0.67% compared to the same period of last year.
b) Gold price index and US dollar
Domestic gold prices fluctuated according to the world gold prices due to the support of fiscal stimulus packages along with the recovery of USD and US bond yields, making gold less attractive. Gold price index in March 2021 decreased by 2.97% over the previous month; an decrease of 0.63% compared to December 2020; increased by 16.84% over the same period last year.
The US dollar price index in March 2021 increased by 0.23% over the previous month; went down by 0.11% compared to December 2020 and dropped 0.7% over the same period of 2020.
c) Producer price index, merchandise import and export price index
Producer price index (PPI) for agriculture, forestry and fishery products in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 1.34% compared to quarter IV/2020 and by 4.54% compared to the same period last year; the similar, PPI for industry products increased by 1.04% and by 0.27%; PPI for services increased by 0.01% and fell by 0.27%. Merchandise export price index in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.75% over the quarter IV/2020 and decreased by 0.3% over the same period last year; the similar, merchandise import price index increased by 1.54% and by 1.2%. Merchandise term of trade in the first quarter of 2021 decreased by 0.78% compared to the quarter IV/2020 and decreased by 1.49% over the same period last year.
II. SOME SOCIAL ISSUES
1. The labor and employment situation in nationwide in the first quarter of 2021 was negatively affected by the Covid-19 outbreak that returned in late January. The labor force participation rate decreased by 1.1 percentage points over the same period last year. The unemployment rate and underemployment rate of the labor force in the age group were 2.42% and 2.20%, respectively, increased compared to the first quarter of 2020.
In the first quarter of 2021, the labor force aged 15 years and over of the whole country was estimated at 51 million people, a decrease of 1.1 million people from the previous quarter and a decrease of 180.9 thousand people compared to the same period in 2020; the labor force participation rate in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 68.7%, down 1.6 percentage points from the previous quarter and 1.1 percentage points lower than the same period last year; the employed population aged 15 years and over was estimated at 49.9 million people.
The unemployment rate nationwide the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 2.19%, of which the urban unemployment rate was 2.96%; 1.76% in the rural area.
The underemployment rate of working age workers in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 2.20%, of which the underemployment rate in urban areas was 1.52%; In rural areas, it was 2.60% (the underemployment rate in the first quarter of 2020 is 1.98%, 1.07%, 2.47%, respectively).
2. Residential life and social security work are concerned by authorities at all levels; The program of building a new countryside in recent years has had a positive impact, contributing to improving the lives of people in rural areas, promoting the development of socio-economic infrastructure systems in rural areas.
In addition to taking care of Tet for the people, as of March 23, 2021, the Government has supported more than 236.2 thousand people in hunger relief with a total rice volume of 3,393.5 tons for 7 localities: Quang Binh, Lang Son, Dak Nong, Lai Chau, Gia Lai, Dien Bien and Son La. From June 2020 up to now, this is the 10th consecutive months that hunger has not arisen nationwide. In addition, more than 22.2 million free health insurance cards/medical book/health care cards were distributed and donated to beneficiaries.
As of March 22, 2021, the whole country had 5,193/8,267 communes (62.8%) and 180 districts (accounting for 27.1% of the total number of district-level units of the country) were recognized as meeting the new rural standards, of which 04 provinces: Nam Dinh, Dong Nai, Hung Yen and Ha Nam have been recognized by the Prime Minister to complete the task of building a new countryside.
3. Education and training have encountered difficulties when the Covid-19 epidemic broke out and developed complicatedly in the first months of the year, the education sector took urgent measures to prevent and control epidemics in educational and training institutions. created in order to ensure safety, effectively control, and prevent epidemic outbreaks.
According to the preliminary report, the school year 2020-2021 had 4,311.6 thousand kindergartens children, a decrease of 0.1% from the 2019-2020 school year; 17,547.6 thousand pupils of general education, an increase of 3%, including 8,883.7 thousand pupils in primary school, an increase of 1.6%; 5,922.2 thousand pupils in lower secondary school, an increase of 4.9% and 2,741.7 thousand pupils in upper secondary schools, an increase of 3.3%. The Covid-19 epidemic caused a halt and interruption in educational activities in general and vocational education in particular. Although many vocational education institutions make efforts to approach the deployment of online teaching, with the specificity of learning theory at school combined with practice in factories, enterprises, online vocational training is a challenge. In 2021, the General Department of Vocational Education aims to enroll 2.5 million people. In which, college level is 260 thousand people; intermediate level reached 340 thousand people; primary and other vocational training programs reached 1.9 million people.
4. The epidemic of Covid-19 in the world continues to be complicated. In Vietnam, the epidemic situation is promptly zoned and controlled.
In the first 3 months of the year, there were 15,982 cases of hemorrhagic fever (3 cases died); 11,871 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (1 case died); 81 cases of virus encephalitis; 6 cases of meningococcal disease (1 case died) and 104 cases of scarlet fever suspected for measles, of which 4 cases were positive for measles.
The epidemic of Covid-19 in the world continues to be complicated In Vietnam, as of 6:00 am on March 28th, 2021, there were 2,590 cases have been reported, 2,308 cases have been cured (35 deaths).
The total number of alive HIV-infected persons over the country as of March 18, 2021 was 211,395 persons; 97,144 cases turned to AIDS and the number of persons who died of HIV/AIDS as of the above time-point was 99,224 persons.
In March 2021, there were 10 cases of food poisoning with 208 persons poisoned. Generally, in the first 3 months of 2021, there were 17 cases of food poisoning with 400 poisoned, of which 2 died.
5. The preservation and promotion of cultural values have always been a concern; localities strictly enforce the restriction on festivals in the early months of the year when the Covid-19 epidemic has not been pushed back in order to effectively prevent and combat epidemics.
With the efforts and activeness in promotion, Vietnamese culture has been improved, even spread widely at home and abroad. On March 9, 2021, there were 8 intangible cultural heritages of 5 types: traditional crafts, traditional festivals, folk performing arts, social practices and beliefs, folk knowledge has been recognized and included in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Entering the festival season at the beginning of 2021, in the context that the Covid-19 epidemic has not been pushed back, localities still strictly limit festivals, adjust accordingly to effectively prevent and combat epidemics, strengthen propaganda, guidance and request for people to carry out the “5K” message at tourist sites, museums, monuments, landscapes, cultural activities, and festival venues.
Besides the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic, domestic sports and sports activities are gradually returning to a vibrant atmosphere, enjoyed by many people and fans. Respondents, including the V-League tournament, officially returned on March 13, 2021. Intending to win tickets to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Vietnam Shooting team went to India to attend the World Cup Shooting, this will be the first foreign competition of Vietnamese sports after a long time did not attend international tournaments due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
6. Traffic accidents in March 2021 decreased in the number of cases and deaths. Generally, in the first 3 months of the year, traffic accidents decreased in a number of cases, but increased the number of deaths and injured people due to an increase in the number of traffic accidents from less serious or more serious.
During the month (from February 15 to March 14), there were 851 traffic accidents nationwide, including 571 traffic accidents of less serious or more serious and 280 traffic crashes, causing 442 people died, 342 injured and 296 minor injuries. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in March decreased by 22.7% (the number of traffic accidents from less serious and over decreased by 8.1% and the number of traffic crashes decreased by 41.7%.); the number of deaths decreased by 14%; the injured increased by 8.6%, and the slightly injured by 37.4%.
In the first quarter of 2021, there were 3,206 traffic accidents nationwide, including 2,074 traffic accidents of less serious or more and 1,132 traffic crashes, killing 1,672 people, and 1,122 people injured and 1,264 people with minor injuries. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in the first 3 months of 2021 decreased by 7.6% (the number of traffic accidents from less serious to more increased by 6.8%; the number of traffic crashes decreased by 25.9%); the number of deaths increased by 2%; the number of injured people increased by 11.8% and the number with minor injuries decreased by 19.2%. On average, 1 day in the first 3 months of the year, there were 36 traffic accidents nationwide, including 23 traffic accidents of less serious or more and 13 traffic crashes, causing 19 deaths, thirteen people injured and 14 people slightly injured.
7. Natural disasters, environmental pollution and fire and explosion significantly affect the lives of people in some localities
In the first 3 months of the year, natural calamities made 3 people missing; 1 person was injured; 459.5 ha rice and crops damaged; nearly 3.9 thousand cattle and poultry died; 705 houses collapsed, swept away and were damaged. The total value of property damage caused by natural disasters in the first quarter was estimated at nearly 42.1 billion VND, down 95.5% over the same period last year.
Also, in the first three months of the year, authorities discovered 5,375 cases of environmental violations in the whole country, of which 4,764 cases were handled with a total fine of 55.5 billion dongs; There were 626 fires and explosions nationwide, killing 21 people and injuring 39 people, and property damage was estimated at 161.2 billion dongs./.
 According to the World Bank (WB), global economic growth is expected to increase 4% in 2021 after falling 4.3% in 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that the global economy, after a negative growth of 3.5% in 2020, is expected to increase by 5.5% in 2021. Private economic and financial organizations such as Conference Board and Fitch Ratings forecast world growth in 2021 will increase 5.0% and 6.1% respectively. The Organization for Economic Development Cooperation forecasts global GDP growth to reach 5.6% in 2021.
 The US started implementing a bailout package to reduce the negative effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, stimulating the economy worth 1,900 billion USD. The US Federal Reserve (FED) keeps the basic interest rate at 0%-0.25% and maintains the bond purchase program at least 120 billion USD/month to support the US economic recovery process.
 The S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial index on the Wall Street (US) stock market both set record highs in the trading session on March 15th. As of March 26th, the S&P 500 index up 0.52%; The Dow Jones increased by 0.62%, and The Nikkei 225 by 1.54% (Reuters).
 Vannamei prices in the South West at the time of mid-March: type 80 shrimps/kg was 108,500 VND/kg, an increase of 8,500 VND/kg over the same period last year; 90 shrimps/kg was 98,500 VND/kg, an increase of 6,500 VND/kg; 100 shrimps/kg was 95,500 VND/kg, an increase of 8,500 VND/kg. (http://agromonitor.vn/group/47/272/giam-sat-gia).
 The price of black tiger shrimp in the South West region of 30 shrimps/ kg in mid-March was 170,000-180,000 VND/kg, an increase of 20,000-25,000 VND/kg compared to the same period last year. (http://agromonitor.vn/group/47/269/duy-nhat).
 Source: National Enterprise Registration Information System, Business Registration Management Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment.
 Corresponding index of the fourth quarter of 2020: 40.6% of enterprises rated their business and production situation better joint; 34.7% of enterprises said that the business and production situation was stable. 24.7% of enterprises rated that it was difficult compared to the previous quarter.
 New investment capital increased sharply because in March there were 3 projects of Vingroup Corporation invested in France, the Netherlands, and Canada with investment capital of 32 million USD each one, and a project valued 20.5 million USD in Singapore with business targets import and export of telecommunications equipment, electronics, home appliances, cars.
 The adjusted investment capital increased sharply because in March there was a Vingroup project in the US adjusted to increase 300 million USD; Indochina Rubber Investment and Development Co., Ltd project in Cambodia increased by 76 million USD and 01 Vinfast project in Germany increased by 32 million USD.
 Total export and import turnover in the first quarter of 2020 reached 123.02 billion USD, up 5.9% over the same period last year, of which exports reached 63.39 billion USD, rose 7.8%; import reached 59.63 billion USD, went up 3.9%.
 Data in March 2021 meeting by an interdisciplinary team consisting of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the State Bank of Vietnam, the General Department of Customs and the General Statistics Office meeting estimates based on export turnover figures, import as of March 25, 2021 of the General Department of Customs combined with market information, the proportion and trend of export and import of goods. The General Statistics Office received and updated the report on the afternoon of March 27, 2021.
 The trade deficit in February 2021 was estimated at 800 million USD.
 In which, in the first quarter of 2021, the trade surplus to the EU reached 5.6 billion USD, rose 13.3% over the same period last year; trade deficit from China was 11.3 billion USD, went up 65.1%; trade deficit from Korea was 8 billion USD, going up 12.2%; trade deficit from ASEAN was 2.8 billion USD, increased by 159.9%.
 CPI growth rate in March over the same period last year of period of 2016-2021: 1.69%; 4.65%; 2.66%; 2.7%; 4.87%; 1.16% respectively.
 CPI growth rate in the first quarter over the same period last year of period of 2002-2021: 2.95%; 3.82%; 4.23%; 9.07%; 8.31%; 6.58%; 16.37%; 14.47%; 8.51%; 12.79%; 15.95%; 6.91%; 4.83%; 0.74%; 1.25%; 4.96%; 2.82%; 2.63%; 5.56%; 0.29% respectively.
 Merchandise export price index/ Merchandise import price index.
 Data are calculated according to the new Conceptual Framework of the International Labor Organization, 19 ICLS standard.
 The unemployment rate of the labor force at working age in the first quarter of 2020 was 2.34%;
The underemployment rate of the labor force at working age in the first quarter of 2020 was 1.98%.
 As of 6:00 am on March 28th 2021, in the world, there were 127,249.6 thousand cases of Covid-19 (2,788.4 thousand deaths)
According to quick reports from the Office of the Ministry of Public Security and the Department of Maritime Affairs (the Ministry of Transport).