(Bloomberg) -- Vietnam’s economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter as exports and manufacturing extended their recovery from the pandemic slump earlier this year.

Gross domestic product rose 4.48% in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier, up from a revised 2.69% in the third quarter, the General Statistics Office said Sunday. That compared to the median estimate of 4.0% for the fourth quarter in a Bloomberg survey of 18 economists.

The economy expanded 2.91% for the full year, compared to the median estimate of 2.8% in the Bloomberg survey. The government’s latest full-year growth forecast for 2020 is 2%-3%.

“The covid-19 pandemic has sent economic growth this year to the lowest level in 2011-2020 period,” Nguyen Thi Huong, head of the statistics office, said at a briefing in Hanoi. “However, recovery in manufacturing has been the key driver that boosted growth.”

Key Insights

  • Exports rose 17.6% in December compared to a year earlier, while imports climbed 22.7%. For the full year, exports increased 6.5% and imports gained 3.6%
  • Consumer prices rose 0.19% in December from a year earlier. The government aims to cap average inflation at 4% this year and next
  • Manufacturing for the full year rose 5.82%

Get More

  • Economic growth should speed up to about 6% next year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told legislators in October
  • After the U.S. Treasury designated Vietnam last week as a currency manipulator, the country’s central bank said Dec. 17 it doesn’t use the exchange rate “to create an unfair competitive advantage in international trade”

(Updates the story with more economic data beginning with the third paragraph.)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.