According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), there were nearly 11,000 newly-established firms nationwide with a total registered capital of VND 98.3 trillion (USD 4.36 billion) in the month, up 20.6 percent in volume and 8.9 percent in value. The additional capital hit VND 316.4 trillion, proving that business confidence is improving.

During the first month of 2018, the State investment hit 16,175 billion VND, or 4.9 percent of the yearly plan and up 13.9 percent annually.

Notably, the industrial production index surged by 20.9 percent year-on-year as firms focus on manufacturing to meet demand during the upcoming traditional Lunar New Year. Among industries, manufacturing and processing sector expanded by 23.8 percent while other sectors posted year-on-year growth such as mining, electronics, computers and optical products, coal mining and apparel.

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The consumer price index rose by 0.51 percent monthly and 2.65 percent annually due to higher electricity and fuel prices, said acting Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc.

As the Lunar New Year is days away, costs of housing repair services, railway tickets and health care moved higher, thus driving CPI up, she said.

Also in January, the total export-import value surpassed USD 38 billion, USD 19 billion of which was export, up approximately 33.9 percent. Top five currency earners include mobile phones and spare parts (USD 4.2 billion USD), apparel (USD 2.3 billion), electronics and accessories (USD 2.2 billion), footwear (USD 1.3 billion), machinery and equipment (USD 1.05 billion).

However, only roughly USD 1.25 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) was recorded, equivalent to 75.9 percent in the same period last year. The FDI disbursement went up 10.5 percent to USD 1.05 billion. The top investors remained the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

The Overseas Investment Agency said the newly-registered capital fell strongly as only projects worth USD 100-300 million were licensed, accounting for nearly 71 percent of the total.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment asked ministries, agencies and localities to complete assigning socio-economic targets, State budget estimate and devising public investment plan for 2018, as well as accelerate disbursement from early this year.

It also requested preventing epidemics on plants and animals, closely controlling cross-border fowl and cattle transportation and ensuring food safety and hygiene.

Source: VNA