Vietnam Q2 GDP quickens to 6.2-6.4 pct

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Vietnam's annual GDP growth accelerated in the second quarter to between 6.2 percent and 6.4 percent from 5.83 percent in the first quarter, a government report estimated on Thursday.

The pick-up helped boost first-half GDP growth to between 6 percent and 6.1 percent over a year earlier, a Planning and Investment Ministry report said.

"The economy continued to recover relatively swiftly in the first six months of the year, with all sectors and fields reaching a higher growth rate than the same period last year", the report seen by Reuters said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on June 6 the economy was expected to grow between 6.5 percent and 7 percent this year, after expanding 5.32 percent in 2009. The government has targeted 2011 growth of between 7 percent and 7.5 percent next year.

Inflation slows

Inflation slowed for a third month in June as food prices eased, giving the government room to keep prodding banks to reduce borrowing costs.

Consumer prices rose 8.69 percent from a year earlier, after inflation exceeded 9 percent in each of the previous three months, according to figures from the General Statistics Office in Hanoi on Thursday. Prices rose 0.22 percent in June from May.

"The government must be relieved that inflation seems to be coming under control," said Ayumi Konishi, the Hanoi-based Vietnam country director for the Asian Development Bank. "Food prices have been coming down and the relatively stable foreign-exchange environment must also be contributing to this."

Prices in the category including rice dropped 0.83 percent from a month earlier, according to the figures.

New pledges for foreign direct investment into Vietnam rose 43 percent to US$7.9 billion in the January-to-June period from the same period last year, newswire VnEconomy reported, citing information from the Foreign Investment Agency.

Disbursed foreign investment in the period increased 6 percent to $5.4 billion, according to the report.

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