Its growth in the second quarter was a pretty lackluster 5.6%, bringing first half growth to a total of 5.5% — well below its 6.7% target.

So the economy probably isn’t going to grow by nearly enough in the rest of the year to make 2016 look great. The new Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc — who succeeded former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung after he set an even more ambitious target of 7% earlier this year — even said it would be “hard to achieve” the necessary expansion in the second half of 2016.

But there are promising signs for Vietnam’s economy, according to a new research note from HSBC , despite today’s slow growth.

One of the biggest causes of Vietnam’s problems in 2016 has been a huge drought — the worst in three decades and caused in part by El Niño .

It’s dealt a major blow to the agricultural sector, which makes up 13% of the economy and experienced a 0.8% year-over-year drop in output. It’s also probably had an effect on consumer spending, as agricultural workers — nearly half of Vietnam’s workforce — have seen their incomes fall.

But, importantly, other sectors have strengthened as agriculture fell. According to HSBC, the manufacturing sector jumped 10% in the first half of 2016, and construction jumped almost 9%. And manufacturing has continued to expand after the second quarter: Output increased in July for the eighth straight month, although at the slowest rate in four months.

There’s also hope for Vietnam that the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a pact that aims to foster trade between 12 countries, including Vietnam — will pass. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump oppose the deal , and it’s unclear if it will be ratified or not. But if it were to come to fruition, the World Bank estimates it would lift Vietnam’s GDP by 10% by 2030 .

By Chloe Pfeiffer - Business Insider - August 10, 2016