Vietnam's budget deficit reaches 26 pct of 2010 target

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Vietnam's budget deficit in the first six months of 2010 reached a quarter of the full-year target, the finance ministry said.

The budget gap in the January-to-June period was about VND31 trillion (US$1.6 billion), or 26 percent of the estimate for the whole year, according to a statement on the government's website that cited the finance ministry.

The figure is "a positive signal," Le Dang Doanh, a former senior economist at the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said in a telephone interview from Can Tho, a southern province in Vietnam. "However, the state budget continued to have a deficit, which is still a concern."

The government's revenue in the first half rose 21.6 percent to VND242 trillion, which is 52.5 percent of the year's estimate, the statement showed. Total spending during the period was VND273 trillion, or 46.9 percent of the 2010 estimate, and 21.3 percent more from a year earlier, according to the statement.

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