1. Growth rate of gross domestic product

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2021 was 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. From the end of January to the beginning of March, the Covid-19 epidemic had complicated developments in some localities, negatively affecting the socio-economic situation of the country, the first quarter growth showed the direction, drastic and timely administration of the Government, the Prime Minister and efforts of all levels, sectors, people and businesses to continue effectively implementing the dual goal of “preventing pandemics and developing economic”. In the general growth of the whole economy, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector increased by 3.16%, contributing 8.34% to the general growth; the industrial and construction sector increased by 6.3%, contributed 55.96%; service increased by 3.34%, contributed 35.70%.

The agriculture, forestry and fishery sector in the first quarter of 2021 increased over the same period last year[1] due to good rice productivity, perennial crop output was good, African swine fever has been well controlled, and live pig production increased significantly, at the same time the export market for wood and forest products expanded. In particular, the agricultural sector increased by 3.19%, only lower than the growth rate of the first quarter of 2011 and 2018[2] in the period of 2011-2021, increasing by 0.29 percentage points of the increase in the total added value of the whole economy; the forestry sector increased by 3.78% but accounted for a low proportion, so it only contributed 0.02 percentage points; the fishery sector increased by 2.90%, higher than the growth rate of 2.79% in the same period last year, contributing 0.07 percentage points.

In the industry and construction sector, industry in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 6.5% over the same period last year, higher than the 5.1% increase in the first quarter of 2020 but much lower than the growth rate of 10. 45% in the first quarter of 2018 and 9% in the first quarter of 2019, contributing 2.2 percentage points to the growth rate of the total added value of the whole economy. The manufacturing continued to play a leading role in the growth of the economy with an increase of 9.45%, contributing 2.37 percentage points. The mining saw a negative growth of 8.24%, decreasing by 0.36 percentage points of the increase in the total value added of the whole economy due to the 11% decrease in crude oil production and 16.1% decrease in natural gas. The construction industry increased by 5.17%, higher than the 4.37% increase in the first quarter of 2020, contributing 0.32 percentage points.

The service sector in the first quarter of 2021 grew positively when the Covid-19 pandemic was strictly controlled, and exporters made good use of the signed Free Trade Agreements. The contribution of some market service industries had high proportion to the increase of total added value in the first quarter was as follows: Wholesale and retail increased by 6.45% compared to the same period last year, the service industry had the largest contribution to the increase in the total added value of the whole economy (0.67 percentage points); finance, banking and insurance increased by 7.35%, contributing 0.4 percentage points; transportation and warehousing decreased by 2.17%, down 0.15 percentage points; the accommodation and catering services sector decreased by 4.49%, down 0.12 percentage points.

           Regarding the economic structure of 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 accounted for 42.20%; Product tax minus product subsidies accounted for 9.64% (The corresponding structure in the same period of  2020 was: 11.66%; 35.86%; 42.82%; 9.66%).

Regarding the use of GDP in the first quarter of 2021, final consumption, asset accumulation, exports of goods and services, imports of goods and services respectively rose by 4.59%; 4.08%; 17.01%; 16.38%.

2. Agriculture, forestry and fishery

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.

a) Agriculture

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, the Mekong River Delta region gained 731,3 thousand hectares of winter-spring rice harvested, made up 48,2% of the cultivated area, equaling 62,5% compared with the same period in 2020. It is estimated that the yield will reach 70.2 quintals/ha, an increase of 1.9 quintals/ha compared to the previous year; the production is estimated at 10.66 million tons, increasing by 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, equaling 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, the production reached 665.2 thousand tons, a decrease by 95.1 thousand tons.

As of the 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%; 107.3 thousand hectares of groundnut, equaling 97%; 11.9 thousand hectares of soybean, equaling 88.8%; 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 and buffalo husbandry in the first quarter was affected by severe cold, damaging cold, frost, snowfall in January, and currently emerging epidemic Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in some localities, local authorities needs to strengthen disease control and prevention measures. Buffalo population in the country in March continued to decrease by 2.3% compared with the same period last year; cattle population increased by 4.4%, the pig population increased by 11.6%; The total poultry population increased by 8.3%. It is estimated in the first quarter of 2021, production of buffalo living weight reached 32.2 thousand tons, 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  pig living weight reached 1,018.8 thousand tons, rose by 7.5%; production poultry living weight reached 513.6 thousand tons, rose by 5.2%; production of cow milk reached 270.1 thousand tons, rose by 5.1%; production of poultry eggs reached nearly 4.5 billion eggs, rose by 3.5%.

As of March 25, 2021, the country was no longer recorded cases of blue ear disease in pigs. Some diseases remained in sevaral localities for less than 21 days: avian influenza was still in Ha Noi, Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Ha Tinh, Quang Nam; foot and mouth disease remained in Bac Kan, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Kon Tum, Dak Lak; African swine fever was reported in 19 provinces and epidemic Lumpy Skin Disease reported in 17 provinces.

b) Forestry

In March, the newly concentrated planted forest area of ​​the whole country was estimated at 17.2 thousand hectares, up 4.2% over the same period last year. 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%.

Damaged forest area[3]  in March was 94.2 ha, a decrease of 46.8% against the same period last year, mainly due to a decrease of 70.4% in forest fires area; deforestation area was 73.7 ha, down 31.7%. Generally in the first quarter of 2021, 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%.

c) Fishery

Fishery production in March was estimated at 683.9 thousand tons, up 3% over the same period last year. 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 farming production was 940.3 thousand tons, up 3.1%; catching production was 885 thousand tons, up 1% (sea catching production was 845.1 thousand tons, up 1,1%).

3. Industry production

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%, contributing 2.37 percentage points to the general growth of the whole economy; electricity production and distribution increased 4.5%, contributing 0.17 percentage points; Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities increased 3.78%, contributed 0.02 percentage points; the mining and quarrying decreased by 8.24% due to the sharp decline in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction, reducing the overall growth rate by 0.36 percentage points.

The index of industrial shipment (IIS) of the manufacturing in March 2021 increased by 24.1% over the previous month and increased by 5.3% over the same period last year. Overall, in the quarter I/2021, the IIS of the manufacturing activities 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 (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. Enterprise activities

The number of newly established enterprises in the first 3 months of 2021 decreased by 1.4% compared to the same period last year, but the registered capital increased by 27.5%, the reason was increasing the number of enterprises with registered capital of over 100 billion VND (up 36.8%) and reducing the number of businesses with registered capital below 10 billion VND (down 3.3%). The enterprises ceased for a certain period, an increase of 28.2% compared to the same period in 2020; enterprises completed dissolution procedures, an increase of 26.4%. These were mostly young, small-sized and vulnerable businesses due to negative external influences. Results on the business tendency survey 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[4]

In March 2021, the whole country had 11,171 newly established enterprises with registered capital was 113 trillion VND and a total number of registered employees of 72,8 thousand employees, an increase of 39% in the number of enterprises, a decrease of 37.1% in the registered capital and an increase of 27.8% in the number of employees compared to last month. The average registered capital of an enterprise reached 10.1 billion VND, a decrease of 54.8% compared to last month, and a fall of 5.5% compared to the same period last year. In the month, there were 4,529 re-operated enterprises in the whole country, a decrease of 1.6% ​​compared to the previous month and rose by 32.3% compared to the same period in 2020; 2,213 enterprises ceased for a certain time, a decrease of 38.4% and 9.7%; 3,458 enterprises temporarily ceased and awaited dissolution procedures, an increase of 32.7% and 24.2%; 1,608 enterprises completed dissolution procedures, an increase of 7.2% and 22.2%

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. In which, the foreign direct investment sector was the most optimistic, 86.2% of enterprises forecasted a better the business production situation in the first quarter of 2021 and expected to remain stable; this rates in the non-state enterprises and the State-owned enterprises were 84.8% and 83.4% respectively.

5. Service activities

In March 2021, domestic trade, service activities and freight transportation showed more positive signs, total retail sales of goods and services in March 2021 increased 9.2% over the same period last year (a decrease of 5.4% in the same period in 2020) showing that consumer demand of the people has increased again; freight carried increased by 5.3% compared to last month. Passenger transportation and International visitors to Viet Nam still faced many difficulties due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Gross retail sales of consumer goods and services in March reached 405.1 trillion VND, down 3.8% over the previous month and up 9.2% over the same period last year. Generally, in the first quarter of 2021, gross retail sales of consumer goods and services reached 1,291.1 trillion VND, up 5.1% over the same period last year, if excluding the price factor, it would increase 4.42% (the same period in 2020 decrease by 10.8%).

Passengers carried in March 2021 were estimated at 323.8 million persons, went down 1.5% compared to the previous month and passengers traffic 12.9 billion passengers-km, falling by 5.8%. Generally for the first quarter of 2021, passengers carried reached 1,012.3 million passengers, a decrease of 11.8% over the same period last year (the first quater of 2020 down 6.1%) and passengers traffic gained 42.2 billion passengers-km, a decline of 20.9% (the first quater of 2020 decreased by 8%).Freight carried in March was estimated at 153.6 million tons, went up 5.3% compared to the previous month and freight traffic 28.2 billion tons.km, rose 7.7%. Generally for the first quarter of 2021, freight carried reached 472.6 million tons, up 10.2% against the similar period last year (the same period in 2020 rose 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 activities in the first quarter of 2021 were generally stable. Telecommunications revenue was estimated at 78.9 trillion VND, a decrease of 0.3% compared to the same period last year (if excluding the price factor, the increase was 2.6%).

International visitors to Viet Nam in March were 19.4 thousand arrivals, increased by 77.3% compared to the previous month but still decreased by 95.7% compared to the same period last year. Generally, for the first quarter of 2021, international visitors arrived in our country reached 48.1 thousand, down 98.7% over the same period last year.

6. Banking, insurance, stock market operations

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 is 1.47% (at the same time in 2020 it is 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 increases by 6% and life insurance premium revenue increases 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; the average transaction value reached 18,907 billion/session, up 155% compared to the previous year average; the average transaction value on the market reached 12,433 billion VND/session, an increase of 19.6%; the average trading volume reached 174,324 contracts/session, up 11% compared to the previous year on average.

7. Development investment

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 as 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. State budget revenues and expenditures

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, 2021 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 March15th, 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 debt interest payment, equaling 25.4%.

9. Export and import of goods and services

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 by 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% [5]. 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[6]

Export turnover in February 2021 reached 20,196 million USD, 196 million USD higher than estimated figure.

Export turnover in March 2021 was estimated at 28.6 billion USD, increased by 41.6% over the previous month and rose 19.2% compared to the same period last year. Export turnover in the first quarter of 2021 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%. There were 11 products with 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%).

Regarding the structure of export commodity groups in the first quarter of 2021, the group of heavy industry products and minerals was estimated at 43.2 billion USD, went up by 25.9% over the same period last year. The group of light industry and handicraft products was estimated at 27.1 billion USD, jumped up by 20.6%. Agricultural and forestry products reached 5.35 billion USD, went up by 7.9%. The group of fishery products reached 1.69 billion USD, edged up by 3.3%.

Regarding the export commodity market in the first quarter of 2021, the United States was Vietnam’s largest export market with a turnover of 21.2 billion USD, a growth of 32.8% over the same period last year; the following was China market with 12.5 billion USD, going up by 34.3%; The EU with 9.6 billion USD, rose by 14.2%; ASEAN market with 6.5 billion USD, an increase of 3.4%; South Korea with 5 billion USD, an increase of 6.4%; Japan with 4.9 billion USD, decreased by 1.5%.

Import turnover of goods in February 2021 reached 20,656 million USD, 144 million USD lower than the estimated figure. Import turnover in March 2021 was estimated at 28.2 billion USD, rose by 36.5% over the previous month and increased by 27.7% compared to the same period last year. The import turnover in the first quarter of 2021 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%. There were 15 imported products with 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%).

Regarding the structure of imported goods in the first quarter of 2021, the group of input materials was estimated at 70.58 billion USD, went up by 26.8% over the same period last year and accounted for 93.7% of total import turnover (a rise of 0.3 percentage points compared to the same period last year), in which machinery, equipment, accessory, means of transport and components reached 35.5 billion USD, up 28.4% and accounted for 47.1% (up 0.7 percentage points); fuel and row materials reached 35.08 billion USD, up 25.1% and accounting for 46.6% (down 0.4 percentage point). Consumer goods group was estimated at 4.73 billion USD, rose by 19.7% and accounted for 6.3% (a drop of 0.3 percentage points).

Regarding the imported goods market in the first quarter of 2021, China remained the largest import market of Vietnam with a turnover of 23.8 billion USD, jumped up by 47.3% over the same period last year; the following was the South Korean market with 13 billion USD, rose by 9.9%; ASEAN market with 9.3 billion USD, increased by 26.3%; Japan with 5.1 billion USD, going up 4.8%; EU market with 4 billion USD, expanding by 15.4%; the United States with 4 billion USD, increase of 12.3%.

The trade balance of goods in February 2021 witnessed a trade deficit of 460 million USD[7]; 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[8], 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 the same period 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%. The 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 the same period of 2020.

10. Price index

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[9]; average CPI in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.29%, the lowest increase level in the past 20 years[10].

a) Consumer price index, gold price index and US dollar

The consumer price index (CPI) of March 2021 dropped by 0.27% over the previous month. 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.

Core inflation in March 2021 decreased by 0.12% over the previous month and increased by 0.73% over the same period last year. The average core inflation of the first quarter of 2021 grew by 0.67% compared to the same period of last year.

Domestic gold prices fluctuated according to the world gold prices. The gold price index in March 2021 decreased by 2.97% over the previous month; a 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.

b) 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; 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.

11. Some social issues

a) Labor and employment [11]

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, increase compared to the first quarter of 2020[12].

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. 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

In the first quarter of 2021, the employed population aged 15 years and over was estimated at 49.9 million people, including 14.1 million people working in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, accounting for 28.2% of the total employed population, up 0.4% over the same period last year; industry and construction 16.1 million people, accounting for 32.3%, down 2.6%; 19.7 million people in the service sector, accounting for 39.5%, up 1%.

The unemployment rate nationwide in 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 unemployed rate of working age in the first quarter of 2021 was 2.42%, of which it was 3.19% for the urban area; 1.98% for the rural area. The youth unemployment rate (aged 15-24) in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 7.44%, of which it was 10.34% in the urban area; in rural areas it was 5.99%. 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).

b) Residential life and social security

In the first quarter of this year, special attention was paid to social security in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic with a new variant reappearing since the end of January. 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 month that hunger has not arisen nationwide. In addition, more than 22.2 million free health insurance cards/medical books/ health care cards were distributed and donated to beneficiaries.

c) Disease situation

The epidemic of Covid-19 in the world continues to be complicated[13]. The 5 countries with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world were the US, Brazil, India, Russia and France. 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).

d. Traffic accident

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. 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 were injured and 14 people were slightly injured.

e) Damage caused by natural disaster

In the first 3 months of the year, natural disasters 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.

g) Environmental protection and fire prevention

In the first 3 months of the year, 5,375 cases of environmental violations were found in the whole country, of which 4,764 cases were handled with a total fine of 55.5 billion VND. From December 16, 2020 to March 15, 2021), there were 626 fires and explosions nationwide, killing 21 people and injuring 39 people, property damage was estimated at 161.2 billion VND.

In general, in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, there were still complicated developments in the world with new variants, but thanks to the efforts in research and vaccination development, the socio-economic picture of Vietnam. Quarter I/2021 continued to maintain stability and achieve positive results in all areas thanks to the timely and drastic direction and management of the Government and the Prime Minister and efforts of all levels. branches, localities, the business community, and the people of the country./.

[1] The quarter 1st 2020 increased by 0.04%.

[2] Index of increase/decrease of agriculture value added of every quarter 1st from 2011-2020 accordingly: 3.65%; 2.66%; 2.01%; 2.03%; 1.58%; -2.69%; 1.38%; 3.97%; 1.93%; -1.16%; 3.19%.

[3] According to the report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on March 26, 2021.

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

[5] 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%.

[6] 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.

[7] The trade deficit in February 2021 was estimated at 800 million USD.

[8] 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%.

[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.

[10] 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.

[11] Data are calculated according to the new Conceptual Framework of the International Labor Organization, 19 ICLS  standard.

[12] 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%.

[13] 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)