A 4.48 percent Q4 growth has propelled Vietnam’s annual growth to 2.91 percent for the year, the General Statistics Office announced Sunday afternoon.

This is the lowest GDP growth level for years. Nevertheless, given the substantial negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is considered a success for Vietnam, with the growth rate among the world’s top.  The annual growth number matches an earlier projection by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Also according to GSO, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture grew 2.68 percent, manufacturing and construction 3.98 percent, and the services sector 2.34 percent.

While the corona virus outbreak wreaked socio-economic havoc, the services sector has tanked, several commercial and consumer services enjoyed growth in the last months of 2020. Domestic transportation is recovering, while international transportation and tourism services are still in the doldrums.

The value of imported and exported goods this year rose 5.1 percent year-on-year to $543.9 billion. In this, exports and import values rose 6.5 percent and 3.6 percent year-on-year to $281.5 billion and $262.4 billion, respectively. This helped the country compile a trade surplus of $19.1 billion, the highest since 2016.

Labor productivity rose $290 over 2019 to VND117.9 million ($5,081) per worker, and the consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.23 percent.

Earlier this month, a World Bank report had said that with a GDP growth of 2.8 percent, Vietnam will be among the by-far- fastest growing economies in a Covid-19-ravaged year. The country will be one of only three nations in Asia that will post positive growth this year, the others being China and Myanmar.

In November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised upward its forecast for Vietnam’s 2020 GDP growth by 0.8 percentage points to 2.4 percent.

Vietnam’s growth would be among the highest in the world, thanks to its successful containment of the Covid-19 pandemic, Era Dabla Norris, mission chief to Vietnam and division chief in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department, had said.

Last year, Vietnam’s GDP growth of 7.02 percent was the second highest growth figure in the last decade, after the record 7.08 percent attained in 2018.

Last year, Vietnam’s GDP growth of 7.02 percent was the second highest growth figure in the last decade, after the record 7.08 percent attained in 2018. With optimism for strong recovery, the Vietnamese government is targeting economic growth of 6.5 percent in 2021, which means growth is expected to return to pre-Covid levels.