Meanwhile, around 3,800 new firms were established, up 10% in number but down 61.3% in registered capital against December 2012.

The general picture is that the economy is still mired in stagnation.

Industrial production was recovering slowly, said the Government. The index of industrial production (IIP) dropped 3.2% month-on-month but rose 21.1% over the same period last year.

The inventory index remained high. The animal feed industry recorded growth of 26.7% in inventory, cement increased 35.7% and communication devices saw a hefty rise of 374%.

Credits for enterprises only picked up slightly.

The total money supply (M2) as of January 21 had inched up 0.17% against the preceding month. The total outstanding loans fell an estimated 1.06% month-on-month and rose 10% year-on-year, with investment in corporate bonds and trust loans excluded.

Lending and deposit rates remained stable as the banking system’s liquidity was improving. Still, lending rates at 15-17% were beyond the absorptive capacity of enterprises.

In regards to the property market, Vu Duc Dam, chairman of the Government Office, said the Government before issuing resolutions 01 and 02 with solutions for the frozen realty market had asked ministries to comprehensively review the market.

“The Government does not aim to save the rich,” Dam stated, adding that the solutions are meant to rescue the poor and middle-income earners. He was speaking at a press briefing after the Government meeting on Tuesday.

A report by the Minister of Construction reveals that the number of newly-established construction companies increased by 22% in 2012, while the number of new real estate firms dropped 3.3% against 2011.

Over 42,000 construction enterprises made profits in 2012, versus around 33,300 in 2011, accounting for more than 80% of the operational companies. Meanwhile, some 15,200 firms incurred losses last year.

In the first 15 days of January, the State budget revenue totaled VND25.7 trillion, or only 3.1% of the estimate, while spending is about VND33.85 trillion, 3.5% of the estimate.

Some US$420 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) was realized, up 5% over the same period in 2012. Capital commitments by new and operational projects are put at around US$281.5 million, a year-on-year rise of 74%.

ODA disbursements reached US$100 million, meeting 2.2% of the plan, says a report on the Government web portal.

For citizens to enjoy Tet holiday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked ministries and provinces to ensure supply of essential items and strictly control prices, preventing an undersupply of goods and price hikes.

The Prime Minister requested ministries to implement resolutions 01 and 02 drastically and urgently.

“Each ministry must review, evaluate and concretize the contents of these resolutions in this first quarter,” he stressed.

By Ngoc Lan - The Saigon Times Daily - January 30,2013