Vietnam’s economic growth quickened in the third quarter, underpinned by solid growth in exports and manufacturing.

Gross domestic product rose 7.31% from a year earlier, up from a revised 6.73% in the second quarter, the General Statistics Office in Hanoi said Saturday. That compared to a median estimate of 6.7% in a Bloomberg survey of four economists. The economy expanded 6.98% in the nine months through September from a year earlier, data from the statistics office showed.

"Manufacturing is the main driver of economic growth in the first nine months of the year, followed by services," Nguyen Bich Lam, head of General Statistics Office, said at Hanoi briefing on Saturday.

Vietnam could end the year with an inflation rate of less than 3%, lower than the government’s 4% target as food prices remain stable, said Do Thi Ngoc, head of the consumer prices department at the General Statistics Office.

Vietnam’s nine-month agricultural output growth slowed to 2.02% from 3.7% a year earlier, said Le Trung Hieu, head of agriculture in the statistics office. African swine fever has reduced the nation’s hog herd by 19%, contributing to the decelerating of agriculture production growth, Mr Hieu added.

Bloomberg - September 28, 2019