HCM City economy expands by 5.46% in 1st half despite COVID

Friday, Jul 02, 2021 08:26

A garment factory in HCM City. Despite being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, HCM City’s economy grew by 5.46 per cent in the first half of the year. — Photo saigon3group.com.vn

Despite being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, HCM City’s economy grew by 5.46 per cent in the first half of the year, according to the city Statistics Office.

The outbreak has affected the growth of many industries, but smart growth by the services sector made up for the declines in others.

It grew by 5.86 per cent year-on-year, with the commercial sector growing at 6.01 per cent, transportation and warehousing at 5.73 per cent, and finance, banking and insurance at 8.22 per cent.

Industrial production grew at 4.16 per cent, double the rate in the same period last year and showing green shoots of recovery.

Construction growth shrank to 0.98 per cent from 1.17 per cent since many projects were interrupted and prices of materials increased.

Retail sales of consumer goods and services were estimated at VND541.68 trillion (US$23.6 billion), up 7.3 per cent.

There were 18,441 newly registered enterprises with a total investment of nearly VND311trillion ($13.5 billion), year-on-year increases of 3.8 per cent and 39.2 per cent.

But FDI decreased by nearly 30 per cent to $1.43 billion.

Public investment has been worth only 25 per cent of the planned amount at VND9.09 trillion.

Exports by city enterprises (including crude oil) rose by 5.6 per cent to $20.34 billion.

They included five items exceeding $1 billion each: computers, electronic products and components ($7.7 billion), garment and textiles ($1.6 billion), machinery, equipment, tools, and parts ($1.13 billion), and footwear ($ 1.1 billion).

Fruit, vegetable prices soar

The prices of fresh fruit and vegetables sold at traditional markets in HCM City have soared over the last few days amid tightening of social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday tomatoes and cucumbers sold for VND25,000-30,000 ($1-1.3) a kilo, a rise of nearly VND10,000 a kilogramme compared to earlier this month.

The price of other vegetables increased by VND5,000-10,000 a kilogramme, while some types of fruit and vegetables sold at double the previous prices.

A trader at Ba Hoa Market in Tan Binh District said the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables sold at wholesale markets in the city had risen by 30 per cent.

HCM City and many provinces are currently implementing social distancing measures to curb the recent COVID-19 outbreak, which has resulted in a spike in goods transport fares from other provinces to the city.

Fresh fruit and vegetables transported to markets from other provinces are being sold at higher prices.

However, the price of fresh fruit and vegetable sold at supermarkets has risen only slightly or remained the same.

The Hoc Mon agricultural wholesale market in HCM City has been closed for one week, starting from Monday for disinfection following four COVID-19 infection cases.

Nguyen Tien Dung, director of Hoc Mon Agriculture Wholesale Market Co said that infection cases were found after quick tests at the market on June 25.

The city’s Department of Industry and Trade on Sunday shifted the supply of goods from Hoc Mon Market to Binh Dien and Thu Duc wholesale markets.

It also asked supermarkets and businesses in the city to join the price stabilisation programme to ensure a sufficient supply of goods. — VNS

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