SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE 3RD QUARTER AND 9 MONTHS OF 2019

I. ECONOMIC GROWTH

1. Growth of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in nine months of 2019 was estimated to increase by 6.98% compared with the same period last year, the highest growth of nine months in the last 9 months[1] (it increased by 6.82% in the first quarter; 6.73% in the second quarter; and 7.31% in the third quarter).

In the general growth of the whole economy, the sector of agriculture, forestry and fishery increased by 2.02% (it grew by 3.7% in the same period in 2018), contributing 4.8% to the general growth; the sector of industry and construction grew by 9.36%, contributing 52.6%; the service sector expanded by 6.85%, contributing 42.6%. The main motivation of the economic growth in nine months of this year is the manuafacturing with the increase of 11.37% and the market services (wholesale and retail trade went up by 8.31%; finance, banking and insurance moved up by 8.19%; transportation and storage jumped up by 7.65%).

Regarding the economic structure in nine months, the sector of agriculture, forestry and fishery accounted for 13.20% of GDP; the industry and construction took 33.98%; the service 42.74%; the taxes less subsidies on production made up 10.08% (corresponding structure in the same period in 2018: 13.94%; 33.50%; 42.51%; 10.05%, respectively).

According to the GDP structure by expenditure category in nine months of 2019, final consumption jumped up by 7.20% from the same period in 2018; accumulated assets increased by 7.68%; export of goods and services moved up by 7.41%; import of goods and services expanded by 8.78%.

+ Gross Domestic Products at current prices
+ Gross Domestic Products at constant 2010 prices

2. The sector of agriculture, forestry and fishery in nine months had difficulties caused by the drought, climate change impacting on the productivity and output of crops, the animal husbandry was hit hard by the African swine fever (ASF). Only the fishery achieved the good growth, the highlight of this sector in nine months of this year.

a) Agriculture

The whole country’s cultivated area of winter-spring rice reached 3,123.9 thousand hectares (ha), a rise of 21.8 thousand ha over the last winter-spring crop; the productivity of winter-spring rice gained 6,550 kilograms per ha (kg/ha), a decrease of 90 kg/ha; the whole crop’s yield recorded 20.5 million tons, a drop of 133.1 thousand tons.

As of mid-September, the cultivated area of winter rice over the country reached 1,558.1 thousand ha, equaling 96.5% compared to the same period last year. The summer-autumn rice crop, the whole country cultivated 2,009.3 thousand ha, a reduce of 43.7 thousand ha from the last summer-autumn crop, of which the Mekong Delta gained 1,569.1 thousand ha, a decline of 35.4 thousand ha. As of September 15, 2019, localities harvested 1,859 thousand ha of summer-autumn rice, accounting for 92.5% of the cultivated area and equaling 98% of the harvested area in the same period last year; the whole country’s summer-autumn rice productivity this year was estimated at 5,480 kg/ha, an increase of 20 kg/ha compared to 2018’s same crop, but due to the decrease in the cultivated area, the general output of the summer-autumn crop in 2019 was estimated at 11 million tons, a drop of 197 thousand tons.

As of mid-September, the whole country cultivated 960.9 thousand ha of maize, equaling 96.7% of the figure in the same period last year; 110.6 thousand ha of sweet potato, equaling 98%; 169.7 thousand ha of peanut, equaling 96%; 43.9 thousand ha of soya, equaling 95.4%; 978.7 thousand ha of vegetables and beans, equaling 101.7%.

The production of some perennial industrial crops in nine months increased compared to the same period last year: Cashew reached an estimate of 284.9 thousand tons, a rise of 6.9%; rubber achieved 823.8 thousand tons, a rise of 4.6%; pepper gained 269.1 thousand tons, a rise of 2.4%. The harvested production of major fruit crops: Mango recorded 716.8 thousand tons, an increase of 1.9% from the similar period last year; dragon fruit gained 788.8 thousand tons, a growth of 24.2%; orange achieved 472.8 thousand tons, a rise of 10.4%; pomelo reached 433.9 thousand tons, an increase of 7.5%.

In September, the whole country’s buffalo population continued to decrease by 2.8% over the same period in 2018 due to low economic efficiency and narrowed grazing area; ox population recorded the good growth with 2.4%; poultry population increased by 10.5%; pig population as of September 2019 fell by 19% against the same period in 2018. Up to September 17, 2019, the whole country no longer reported foot-and-mouth disease and blue-ear pig disease; avian influenza (bird flu) was still found in Ben Tre; and African swine fever has been detected in 7,612 communes, 642 districts of 63 provinces and centrally-run cities.

b) Forestry

Generally for nine months of 2019, the concentrated planted forest area were estimated at 176.5 thousand ha, a decline of 5.4% compared to the same period last year (66.5 thousand ha in the third quarter, a drop of 4%); the number of separate planted forestry trees gained 60.7 million trees, a decline of 2.8% (26.3 million trees in the third quarter, a decline of 2.2%); wood production achieved 11,413 thousand m3, a rise of 4.5% (4,393 thousand m3, a rise of 4.8%); and firewood production recorded 14 million steres, a decrease of 1.6% (4.8 million steres, a reduce of 0.8%). In nine months of this year, damaged forest area was 3,059.7 ha, 3.2 times as high as the figure in  the same period last year, of which burnt forest area was 2,641.7 ha, nearly 5 times as high as the figure in the similar period last year; destroyed forest area was 418 ha, a decline of 2.5%.

c) Fishery

Fishing production in nine months of this year was estimated at 5,964.9 thousand tons, a rise of 5.4% compared to the same period last year (2,190.6 thousand tons in the third quarter, up 4.9%), of which fish reached 4,321.9 thousand tons, an increase of 5.2%; shrimp achieved 719.6 thousand tons, a growth of 7.2%; other aquatic products gained 923.4 thousand tons, a rise of 5%.

Production of aquaculture was estimated at 3,114 thousand tons, up 6.2% compared to the same period last year (1,196.8 thousand tons in the third quarter, up 5.7%), of which fish gained 2,189.5 thousand tons, an increase of 5.9%; shrimp achieved 591.7 thousand tons, a rise of 8.6%.

 Production of fishery caught in nine months reached an estimate of 2,850.9 thousand tons, a rise of 4.5% from the identical period last year (993.8 thousand tons in the third quarter, up 4%), of which fish reached 2,132.4 thousand tons, increasing by 4.4%; shrimp gained 127.9 thousand tons, climbing by 1.2%.

+ Agricultural production as of September 15, 2019
+ Main products of animal husbandry
+ Outcome of forestry production
+ Fishing production

3. The sector of industry and construction grew significantly with the main driving force - the manufacturing; the mining and quarrying has risen again after consecutive years of decline.

The growth of the industrial and constructional sector in nine months of 2019 reached 9.36% compared to the identical period last year, of which the industry increased by 9.56% thanks to the manufacturing playing a key role in leading the overall growth of the whole industry and the entire economy (with a rise of 11.37%); the mining and quarrying saw a slight increase of 2.68% after many consecutive years of decline thanks to rising coal mining, making up for the drop in crude oil exploitation.

Generally for nine months of 2019, consumption index of the whole manufacturing increased by 9.5% compared with the identical period last year (it increased by 12.2% in the same period in 2018). Inventory index of the entire manufacturing as of  September 30, 2019 increased by 17.2% over the similar period last year (it grew by 13.8% in the same period in 2018). Average inventory rate of the whole manufacturing in nine months of 2019 gained 72.1%[2] (it was 63.8% in the similar period last year).

+ Industrial Production Index in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Industrial Production Index in quarters of 2019
+ Main industrial products in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Main industrial products in quarters of 2019
+ Consumption and stock indexes of the manufacturing
+ Labor employed index (LEI) for industrial enterprises
+ Labor employed index (LEI) for industrial enterprises by province

4. The number of newly established enterprises in nine months of 2019 reached a new record with nearly 102.3 thousand ones with average registered captical per enterprise of 12.6 billion dongs, the highest level in recent years, forecasting the better health of new businesses entering the market.

a) Business registration situation[3]

In nine months of this year, the whole country had nearly 102.3 thousand enterprises registered for new establishment with total registered capital of 1,290.8 trillion dongs, a rise of 5.9% in the number of enterprise and an increase of 34% in the registered capital compared to the same period in 2018. Average registered capital per newly established enterprise reached 12.6 billion dongs, up 26.6%. Total registered capital added to the economy in nine months of 2019 was 3,021.2 trillion dongs, including 1,730.4 trillion dongs of the additional capital of enterprises increasing their capital. In addition, there were 27.6 thousand enterprises returning to operation, a rise of 20.5% over the similar period last year, bringing the total number of newly registered enterprises and re-operated enterprises in nine months of this year to over 129.8 thousand enterprises. Total number of registered employees of the newly established enterprises in nine months of this year was 929.8 thousand persons, a rise of 13.4% against the same period last year.

The number of temporarily ceased enterprises with a certain time in nine months of this year was 21.2 thousand ones, a decrease of 7.9% against the identical period last year; 28.2 thousand  enterprises has suspended operation waiting for dissolution procedures, of which 11.9 thousand enterprises have their business registration certificates revoked under the 2018 data standardization program; the number of enterprises which completed dissolution procedures was 12.1 thousand enterprises, up 4.7%.

b) Business trends of enterprises: Survey results on business trends of enterprises in the manufacturing industry in the third quarter of 2019 showed that: 43.3% of enterprises rated their business performance in the third quarter of this year better than the previous quarter; 18.3% of enterprises pointed to difficulties and 38.4% of enterprises said that their business and production situation was stable[4]. Expected in the fourth quarter of 2019, 52.1% of enterprises rated the trend would be better; 12.1% of enterprises forecasted more difficulties and 35.8% of businesses thought that the business and production situation would be stable.

+ Number of newly registered enterprises by kinds of activity
+ Number of enterprises returned to operation
+ Number of temporarily ceased enterprises with a certain time
+ Number of enterprises completed dissolution procedures

5. Service activities in the first nine months of 2019 took place vibrantly, consumer demand increased, the consumer market was expanded, the supply of goods was abundant, the quality of goods was guaranteed to meet people’s needs and tastes.

Total estimated retail sales of consumer goods and services recorded in nine months of 2019 reached 3,634.8 trillion dongs, a rise of 11.6% compared to the similar period last year[5] if excluding the price factor, the growth rate was 9.2%, of which it was estimated at 1,246.4 trillion dongs in the third quarter, a rise of 3.5% from the previous quarter and a rise of 12.2% over the same period last year. By kinds of economic activity, retail sales of goods in nine months reached 2,762.3 trillion dongs, accounting for 76% of the total and increasing by 12.6% over the similar period last year; Estimated sales of accommodation and catering services achieved 434.7 trillion dongs, accounting for 12% of the total and moving up by 9.6%; Sales of travelling achieved 33.5 trillion dongs, representing 0.9% of the total and climbing by 12%; Estimated sales of other services gained 404.3 trillion dongs, taking 11.1% of the total and expanding by 7.3%.

Transport and telecommunication infrastructure is constantly being improved to improve service quality. Transport and telecommunication activities in the third quarter and nine months of 2019 continued to maintain a good growth rate compared to the same period last year. Generally for nine months of 2019, passenger carriage gained 3,792.5 million passengers, an increase of 10.5% over the same period last year and 177.2 billion passengers-km, a rise of 9.8% (it gained 1,296.5 million passengers, up 11.2% and 63.2 billion passengers-km, up 10.1% in the third quarter). Freight achieved 1,244.5 million tons, expanding by 8.9% against the similar period last year and 237.9 billion tons-km, increasing by 7.5% (it was estimated at 421.5 million tons, up 9.5% from the identical period last year and 81.2 billion tons-km, up 7.9%).

Turnover of postal services and telecommunications in nine months of 2019 was estimated to reach 277.1 trillion dongs, an increase of 7.23% from the similar period last year (if excluding the price factor, it increased by 6.75%). As of the end of September 2019, the total number of telephone subscribers was estimated to achieve 135.2 million subscribers, a rise of 5% over the similar period last year, of which mobile phone subscribers reached 131.4 million ones, putting up by 5.7%; the number of fixed broadband Internet subscribers gained 14.3 million subscribers, an increase of 14.5%.

Generally for nine months of 2019, international visitors to Vietnam reached 12.9 million arrivals, a rise of 10.8% compared to the same period last year, of which visitors coming by road recorded the highest increase with 23.5%; visitors coming by airway moved up by 8.3%; only visitors coming by seaway decreased by 0.6%. Visitors from Asia gained 10,156.2 thousand arrivals, up 12.5%; Visitors from the Europe reached an estimate of 1,612.9 thousand arrivals, up 5.3%; Visitors from the America gained 737.8 thousand arrivals, up 6.8%; Visitors from the Australia recorded 329.2 thousand arrivals, down 1.4%; Visitors from the Africa achieved 34.5 thousand arrivals, up 10.8% against the same period in 2018.

+ Total retail sales of consumer goods and services in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Total retail sales of consumer goods and services in quarters of 2019
+ Carriage of passengers in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Carriage of passengers in quarters of 2019
+ Freight in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Freight in quarters of 2019
+ International visitors to Vietnam in September and 9 months of 2019
+ International visitors to Vietnam in quarters of 2019

6. Banking, insurance and stock exchange activities in nine months of 2019 grew positively, making an important contribution to the growth of the economy.

As of September 20, 2019, total payment means increased by 8.44% over the end of 2018 (it grew by 8.74% in the same period in 2018); capital mobilization of credit organizations grew by 8.68% (it increased by 9.15% in the same period in 2018); credit growth of the economy reached 8.4% (it was 9.52% in the corresponding period in 2018).

Insurance business in the third quarter of 2019 continued to record a high growth, was estimated to increase by 19% compared to the same period last year, of which life insurance premium revenues went up by 23%; non-life insurance premium revenues grew by 12%. Generally for nine months of 2019, estimated insurance premium revenues of the whole market jumped up by 20% against the identical period in 2018, of which life insurance premium revenues grew by 22%; non-life insurance premium climbed by 12%.

The stock market in nine months of 2019 made a lot of contributions to capital mobilization for the economy with a total mobilized capital of 203.5 trillion dongs, up 2% over the same period last year. In the stock market, as of September 24, 2019, the VNIndex reached 996.74 points, up 0.2% compared to the end of the previous month and up 10.4% compared to the end of 2018; market capitalization reached 4,504 trillion dongs, up 13.7% compared to the end of 2018; The average transaction value from the beginning of 2019 till now reached 4,576 billion dongs per session, down 30.1% compared to the average in 2018. In the bond market, there were 511 listed bond codes with a listing value of 1,142 trillion dongs, up 2% compared to the end of 2018. On the derivatives market, the average trading volume from the beginning of the year up to now recorded 97,271 contracts per session, up 23% compared to the average in 2018.

7. Total realized social investment capital in nine months of 2019 reached a decent increase compared to the same period in 2018, in which capital from non-state economic sector accounted for the largest proportion of the total investment capital, confirming the policy of the Party that is to develop the private economy to become an important driving force of the economy.

 Total realized social investment capital in nine months of 2019 achieved a fairly good growth of 10.3% over the same period in 2018 (it was estimated at 556.5 trillion dongs in the third quarter, up 10.5%), of which the non-State sector’s capital gained 624.6 trillion dongs, took the largest proportion of total investment capital (45.3%) and the highest growth rate of 16.9% against the corresponding period last year; the State sector’s capital achieved 426.6 trillion dongs, accounting for 31% and increasing by 3%; the FDI sector’s capital reached 327.1 trillion dongs, representing 23.7% and moving up by 8.4%. Notably, investment capital from the State budget has not been improved much, continued to record the lowest increase in the period 2016-2019[6].

From the beginning of the year to September 20, 2019, FDI attracted 2,759 newly licensed projects with the total registered capital of US$ 10,973.4 million, an increase of 26.4% in the number of projects and 22.3% in the registered capital against the similar period in 2018. In addition, there were 1,037 turns of license-granted projects from previous years registered to adjust investment capital with the additional capital of US$ 4,789.8 million, a decrease of 13.6% from the same period last year. Thus the total of newly registered capital and additional capital in nine months of this year reached US$ 15,763.2 million, reducing by 19.9% from 2018’s same period. Realized FDI capital in nine months of 2019 was estimated at US$ 14.2 billion, increasing by 7.3% over the identical period last year.  In nine months, there were 6,502 turns of capital contribution and share purchase of foreign investors with a total contributory value of US$ 10.4 billion, a rise of 82.3% from the same period in 2018, of which 1,348 turns of capital contribution and share purchase increased the charter capital of enterprises with the contributed capital of US$ 6.34 billion and 5,154 turns of foreign investors bought back domestic shares without increasing charter capital with the value of US$ 4.06 billion.

+ Realized social investment capital at current prices
+ Realized investment capital under the State budget in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Realized investment capital under the State budget in quarters of 2019
+ Licensed FDI projects from January 01 to September 20, 2019

8. The progress of government revenues in 9 months of 2019 remained stable, the government expenditure continued to promptly meet development investment tasks, debt payment, assurance of national defense, security and operation of the State apparatus.

Total estimated government revenues from the beginning of the year to September 15, 2019 achieved 1,028.7 trillion dongs, equaling 72.9% of the annual estimate, of which domestic revenues recorded 824.6 trillion dongs, equaling 70.3%; collecting from crude oil gained 40.8 trillion dongs, equaling 91.5%; from export-import balance obtained 159.8 trillion dongs, equaling 84.4%.

Total government expenditures from the beginning of the year to September 15, 2019 was estimated at 962.2 trillion dongs, equaling 58.9% of the yearly estimate, of which regular expenditures were 691.9 trillion dongs, equaling 69.2%; expenditure on development investment achieved 174.3 trillion dongs, equaling 40.6%; expenditure on interest payment was 78.6 trillion dongs, equaling 63%.

9. Export and import turnover of goods and services in nine  months of 2019 reached a good growth rate, of which export turnover of the domestic economic sector had a growth rate of 16.4%, much higher than the growth rate of FDI sector (5%). The trade balance of goods in 9 months was estimated at trade surplus of US$ 5.9 billion.

a) Export and import of goods:

Total export and import turnover of goods in nine months of 2019 were estimated at US$ 382.72 billion, export turnover of goods gained US$ 194.3 billion, a rise of 8.2% over the same period last year, of which the domestic economic sector had a high growth rate of 16.4%, higher than the growth rate of FDI sector (5%). The trade balance of goods in 9 months was estimated at trade surplus of US$ 5.9 billion.

Export of goods:

Export turnover of goods in September 2019 was estimated to reach US$ 23 billion, down 11.1% compared to the previous month. In the third quarter of 2019, merchandize export turnover gained US$ 71.76 billion, an increase of 10% over the same period in 2018 and a rise of 12.7% from the second quarter of this year. In the third quarter, there were 10 items with export value of more than US$ 1 billion, accounting for 74.4% of total export turnover. Generally for nine months of 2019, export turnover of goods was estimated at US$ 194.30 billion, a rise of 8.2% over the same period in 2018[7], of which the domestic economic sector achieved US$ 59.57 billion, moving up by 16.4%, accounting for 30.7% of the total export turnover; the FDI sector (including crude oil) gained US$ 134.73 billion, increasing by 5%, accounting for 69.3%. There were 26 items with export turnover of more than US$ 1 billion, accounting for 89.8% of the total export turnover.

Import of goods:

Import turnover of exports in September 2019 was estimated at US$ 22.5 billion, an increase of 0.2% compared to the previous month. In the third quarter of 2019, import turnover achieved US$ 67.48 billion, a rise of 8.9% over the similar period in 2018 and a rise of 6.3% over the second quarter of this year. There were 14 items with import value of more than US$ 1 billion, accounting for 72.6% of the total import value. Generally for nine months of 2019, import turnover of goods was estimated to reach US$ 188.42 billion, a growth of 8.9% from the same period in 2018, of which the domestic economic sector gained US$ 78.97 billion, up 14%; the FDI sector achieved US$ 109.45 billion, up 5.5%; there were 32 import items with turnover of more than US$ 1 billion, representing 88.8% of the total import turnover.

The trade balance of goods in August saw a surplus of US$ 3.4 billion; 8 months of 2019 witnessed a surplus of US$ 5.4 billion; September recorded an estimated surplus of US$ 0.5 billion. In general, in nine months of 2019, it was estimated to reach a trade surplus US$ 5.9 billion[8], of which the domestic economic sector saw a trade deficit of US$ 19.4 billion while the

FDI sector (including crude oil) witnessed a trade surplus of US$ 25.3 billion.

b) Export and import of services:

In nine months of 2019, service export turnover were estimated to reach US$ 12 billion, up 8.1% compared to the similar period in 2018 (US$ 4.1 billion in the third quarter, up 12.5%), of which travel service gained US$ 8.4 billion (accounting for 70.2% of the total turnover), a rise of 11%; transportation service achieved US$ 2.2 billion (accounting for 18.2%), increasing by 1.3%. Estimated service import turnover in nine months of this year reached US$ 14.1 billion, putting up by 2% over the identical period last year, of which transportation service gained US$ 6.8 billion (accounting for 48.1% of the total turnover), increasing by 4.9%; travel service attained US$ 4.4 billion (making up 31.4%), decreasing by 1.6%. Trade deficit of services in nine months of 2019 was US$ 2.1 billion, equaling 17.9% of the service export turnover.

+ Exports in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Exports in quarters of 2019
+ Imports in September and 9 months of 2019
+ Imports in quarters of 2019
+ Import and export of services

10. Price indexes

a) Inflation was curbed at a low level, the average consumer price index (CPI) in nine months increased by 2.5%, this is the lowest 9-month average increase in the past 3 years[9].

CPI in September 2019 increased by 0.32% against the previous month. Generally for the third quarter of 2019, CPI grew by 0.48% over the previous quarter and by 2.23% from the same period in 2018; average CPI in nine months went up by 2.5% compared to the similar period in 2018.

Average core inflation in nine months of 2019 increased by 1.91% over the similar period in 2018.

b) Gold price index and US dollar index

Domestic gold prices fluctuated according to world gold prices. Gold prices increased due to the trade war between the US and China and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Gold price index in September 2019 increased by 3.25% over the previous month, by 18.05% from December 2018, and by 19.83% against the same period last year.

The US dollar price index in September 2019 fell by 0.11% over the previous month, by 0.49% against December 2018 and by 0.39% compared to the same period in 2018.

c) Producer price indexes (PPI) and merchandize export-import price indexes

PPI for agriculture, forestry and fishery in the third quarter of 2019 decreased by 1.02% against the previous quarter and  by 1.16% against the same period last year; similarly, PPI for industry grew by 0.06% and by 1%; PPI for services moved up by 1.25% and by 2.9%. Generally for nine months of 2019, PPI for agriculture, forestry and fishery witnessed a rise of 1.12% compared to the similar period in 2018, PPI for industry gained an increase of 1.49%, PPI for services achieved a growth of 3.07%.

In the third quarter of this year, merchandize export price index reduced by 0.2% from the previous quarter and increased by 2.54% over the same period last year; similarly, merchandize import price index moved up by 0.01% and by 0.39%; merchandize term of trade[10] in the third quarter of 2019 fell by 0.21% against the previous quarter and went up by 2.14% from the same period last year. Generally for nine months of 2019, merchandize export price index increased by 2.69% against the similar period last year, merchandize import price index grew by 0.77%; merchandize term of trade climbed by 1.91% over the identical period in 2018.

+ Consumer price indexes, gold, US dollar price indexes and core inflation in September 2019
+ Producer Price Indexes
+ Price index of materials, fuels used for production
+ Transport and Warehouse Charge Index
+ Merchandize export price index
+ Merchandize import price index
+ Commodity term of trade

II. SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Labor and employment nationwide in nine months of 2019 had many positive changes, the number of employed people increased, unemployment rate and underemployment decreased. The labor structure has been shifted towards reducing the proportion of labor in the sector of agriculture, forestry and fishery, and increasing the proportion of labor in the sector of industry - construction and services.

The whole country’s labor force aged 15 years and above in nine months of 2019 was 55.5 million persons, an increase of 310.9 thousand persons compared to the same period last year (55.7 million persons in the third quarter, a rise of 263.8 thousand persons); labor force within working age was 48.9 million persons, a growth of 425.6 thousand persons. The employed labor force aged 15 years and above in the third quarter of 2019 was estimated at 54.6 million persons; generally for nine months, it was 54.4 million persons, including 19.1 million persons working in the sector of agriculture, forestry and fishery, accounting for 35% of the total (a decrease of 3.2 percentage points compared to the similar period last year); 15.9 million persons working in the industry and construction sector, taking 29.2% (a rise of 2.6 percentage points); 19.4 million persons working in the service sector, representing 35.8% (an increase of 0.6 percentage point).

The whole country’s general unemployment rate in nine months of 2019 was 1.99% (2.00% in the first quarter; 1.98% in the second quarter; 1.99% in the third quarter), of which it was 2.94% for the urban areas; 1.52% for the rural areas[11].

The underemployment rate of working-age laborers in nine months of this year was 1.32% (1.21% in the first quarter; 1.38% in the second and the third quarter), of which it was 0.73% for the urban areas; 1.63% for the rural areas.

+ Selected indicators on labours
+ Unemployment and underemployment rate of laborers

2. People’s life and social security in nine months of 2019 in general were better, especially in the rural areas.

As of the end of September 2019, the whole country had 4,458 communes (reaching 50%) and 76 districts recognized as meeting the new-style rural area standard.

Generally for nine months of 2019, the whole country had 67.5 thousand turns of households suffering from food shortage, a decrease of 33% from the same period last year, corresponding to 273.2 thousand persons suffering from food shortage, a decrease of 32%.

According to the preliminary report, in nine months of 2019, the total value of gifts given to policy beneficiary objects, people with merit, social protection beneficiaries was about 5.1 trillion dongs, of which 3.1 trillion dongs were used to pay a compliment and support policy beneficiary objects; 1.2 trillion dongs were used to support poor households; and nearly 0.8 trillion dongs were used for food aid and other social relief. In addition, over 20 million free health insurance cards and health care books/cards were donated to the policy beneficiaries throughout the country.

3. Education and training continued to be concerned, in which the 2019 national high school exam was organized in the direction of reducing pressure and costs for candidates, their families and the society; tightening discipline, paying attention to the detection and treatment of examination fraud and create favorable and safe conditions for students to take part in the exam.

According to the preliminary report, the 2019 national high school exam was held at 1,980 exam venues, corresponding to 38,050 exam rooms with 887.1 thousand candidates, of which 622.7 thousand candidates registered for admission to universities and colleges, accounting for 70.2% of the total candidates registered to participate in the exam.

At the time of starting the school year 2019-2020, the country had 5.5 million preschool children and 16.9 million pupils of general education going to school. At present, the whole country had 2,902 vocational training establishments, including 400 occupational colleges, 492 occupational intermediate schools, 1,025 occupational training centers and 985 other vocational training establisments. Vocational training as of the end of August 2019 enrolled 1,630 thousand new students, of which 312 thousand students were enrolled for college and intermediate level; 1,318 thousand students were enrolled for elementary level and other vocational training programmes. Besides, in nine months of 2019, about 450,000 rural workers, persons with disabilities and persons from ethnic minorities were supported with primary-level vocational training for less than 3 months.

4. The situation of hemorrhagic fever in 9 months of this year has been complicated.

Generally for nine months, the whole country had 43.1 thousand cases of hand, foot, mouth disease (2 cases died); 188.5 thousand cases of hemorrhagic fever (36 cases died); 457 cases of virus encephalitis (12 cases died); 22 cases of meningococcal disease (1 case died); 35.1 thousand cases of scarlet fever suspected for measles, of which 6.5 thousand cases were positive for measles (4 cases died).

Total number of alive HIV-infected persons over the country as of September 18, 2019 was 209.8 thousand persons and 96.9 thousand cases turned to AIDS. The number of persons died of HIV/AIDS nationwide as of above time-point was 98.4 thousand persons.

Total cases of food poisoning in nine months of this year were 54 cases, making 1,628 persons poisoned, of which 9 persons died.

5. Movement sport activities have been promoted, high performance sports continued to achieve much success. Cultural and artistic activities in nine months of this year focused on celebrating big holidays and important events of the country.

16 national mass sports competitions and 13 training courses were held for 1,851 officials, referees, coaches, guides, collaborators, physical education teachers, and rescuers.

Regarding high performance sport activities, from the beginning of the year, the Vietnam sports won 360 gold medals, 269 silver medals and 305 bronze medals at sports competitions at all levels, of which there were 39 gold medals, 33 silver ones and 29 bronze ones at world level; 75 gold ones, 59 silver ones and 67 bronze ones at Asian level; 230 gold ones, 171 silver ones and 196 bronze ones at Southest Asian regional level.

6. Traffic accidents in nine months of 2019 reduced compared to the same period last year in the number of accidents, the death and injured people thanks to the peoples awareness of obeying the traffic law and the solutions to ensure traffic safety.

Generally, in nine months of 2019, 12,675 traffic accidents occurred nationwide, including 6,718 cases of traffic accidents from less serious to become and 5,957 cases of traffic collisions, causing 5,659 deaths, 3,633 injuries and 5,986 minor injuries. Compared to the same period last year, the number of traffic accidents in nine months of this year declined by 4.3% (number of traffic accidents of differently serious levels reduced by 2.1%; number of traffic collisions decreased by 6.6%); number of death fell by 5.9%; number of injuries went down by 1% and number of minor injuries dropped by 10%. On average, there were 46 traffic accidents occurred nationwide each day in nine months of 2019, including 24 traffic accidents from less serious to become and 22 traffic collisions, causing 21 deaths, 13 injuries and 22 minor injuries.

7. Natural disasters, environmental pollution and fire and explosion have greatly affected the lives of people in some localities.

According to the preliminary report from localities, natural disasters in nine months of 2019 made 116 people died and missing; 164 ones injured; 1,421 thousand houses collapsed and swept away, over 59.6 thousand houses damaged and roof ripped-off; 63.3 thousand ha of paddy and nearly 19 thousand ha of crops damaged. The total loss in assets caused by natural disasters in nine months of this year was estimated at 4.6 trillion dongs.

In nine months of 2019, 9,129 cases of violating regulations of environment protection were found over the country, of which 8,292 cases were treated with total fine of 88.7 billion dongs. In nine months, there were 2,959 fire and explosion cases occurring nationwide, causing 76 deaths and 124 injuries, with an estimated damage of about 1,057 billion dongs.

+ Some key social and environmental indicators

GENERAL STATISTICS OFFICE

[1] GDP growth in nine months of some years: a rise of 6.03% in 2011; 5.10% in 2012; 5.14% in 2013; 5.53% in 2014; 6.53% in 2015; 5.99% in 2016; 6.41% in 2017; 6.96% in 2018; 6.98% in 2019.

[2] Safe inventory rate is about 65%.

[3] Source: National Business Registration Information System, Agency for Business Registration, Ministry of Planning and Investment.

[4] Corresponding rates for the second quarter of 2019 were as follows: 45.2% of enterprises rated their business performance year better than the previous quarter; 16.5% of enterprises pointed to difficulties and 38.3% of enterprises said that their business and production situation was stable.                                                                                                                           

[5] Be lower than the growth rate in nine months of 2018 but higher than the increase in nine months of years from 2015 to 2017. The growth rate of total retail sales of goods and services in 9 months of years 2015-2019 compared to the same period last year was 10.8%; 10%; 10.5%; 12.2%; 11.6%, respectively.

[6] The growth rate of investment capital from the State budget in nine months of the year compared to the same period of the previous year in the years 2015-2019 was as follows: 8.1% in 2015; 13.1% in 2016; 6.6% in 2017; 11.4% in 2018; 4.8% in 2019.

[7] Be lower than the growth rate of 20.6% in nine months of 2017 and 15.8% in nine months of 2018.

[8] Of which, in nine months of 2019, trade surplus with EU was US$ 20.1 billion, down 5.9% from the same period last year; trade deficit with China was US$ 27.7 billion, up 50.4%; trade deficit with South Korea was US$ 20.9 billion, down 3.4%; trade deficit with ASEAN was US$ 4.7 billion, up 0.3%.

[9] The growth rate of average CPI in nine months of 2017-2019 compared to the same period of the previous year was as follows: 3.79% in 2017; 3.57% in 2018; 2.5% in 2019.

[10] The ratio of the export price index to the corresponding import price index.

[11] Unemployment rate in nine months of 2018 was 2.00%, of which it was 2.96% for the urban areas; 1.55% for the rural areas.


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