Vietnam reports surprise 5% fall in exports

The value of overseas shipments shrank 5% from a year earlier. — Bloomberg

Hanoi: Vietnam’s exports unexpectedly contracted in February, belying hopes of a quick turnaround suggested by the previous month’s data.

The value of overseas shipments shrank 5% from a year earlier, data released by Hanoi-based General Statistics Office showed yesterday, compared with the median estimate for a 1.7% increase in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Imports rose 1.8%, slower than the 7% expansion expected by analysts.

Trade-reliant Vietnam had initially reported a 42% increase in goods shipments last month, kindling hopes of a recovery in commerce.

But lingering geopolitical tensions have, in part, dented early gains in global trade, with supply chain bottlenecks threatening to choke the recovery in exports.

Consequently, the trade surplus narrowed to US$1.1bil in February from US$2.92bil a month ago. — Bloomberg

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