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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - VN output soars by 11 percent

VN output soars by 11 percent

HANOI - Vietnam said on April 20 its economy was developing on positive and

stable lines, with higher industrial production, exports, imports and retail

sales.

The official Vietnam News quoted minister Le Xuan Trinh as saying

industrial output in the first quarter of this year was 11.4 percent higher than

last year.

Exports increased 18 percent and imports by 20.6 percent over

the same period, confirming a trend towards a growing trade deficit. Vietnam,

modernising its communist economy on market lines, is bringing in more goods to

repair its crumbling infrastructure.

Exports of rubber increased by 12

percent and coffee by 30 percent, the newspaper quoted Trinh as telling a news

conference in Ho Chi Minh City to which foreign journalists were not

invited.

Trinh, Director of the Government office with cabinet rank, said

retail sales were up 19 percent during the same period, "indicating that

purchasing power is increasing," Vietnam News reported.

Prices were

stabilizing after a surge during February's annual lunar New Year

holidays.

Inflation last year was 5.2 percent. Trinh said the monthly

figure for January 1994 was 1.87 percent, February 3.7 percent and March 0.4

percent.-Reuters

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