The metric was higher than the 7% growth recorded in the same period last year, the GSO said.
The GSO attributed this year’s IIP growth to breakthroughs in the processing and manufacturing sector, which rose 12.7%, contributing 9.7 percentage points to the overall IPP.
According to the GSO’s general director, Nguyen Bich Lam, the processing and manufacturing industry was a bright spot for the economy, driving the overall growth of the industry. “It is one of the three sectors, together with the agro-forestry-fishery and services, to achieve impressive growth and contribute a substantial 7.08% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first six months of 2018, the highest rate in the first half of the year since 2011,” Lam said.
Some manufacturing sectors in the secondary industry enjoyed significant growth compared to the same period last year and contributed to the general growth of the whole industry sectors including, metal production (20%), coal and refined petroleum products (20.3%), electronics, computer and optical products (17.5%), medicine, pharmaceutical chemicals and pharmaceutical material production (16.2%).
Among the key industrial products that posted high IIP increases in the six months were raw steel and iron (43.7%), fabric (22.1%), sugar (19%), liquefied petroleum gas (18.5%), feed for seafood (17.8%) and television (17%).
However, some other sectors saw lower growth, especially wood processing and products made from bamboo (2.6%).
Some sectors recorded industrial production declines. The stone-sand-gravel mining industry went down by 0.7%; repair-maintenance and installation of machinery and equipment dropped by 2.7% and crude oil and natural gas exploitation fell by 5.7%.
Among the significantly reduced products, crude oil was down 10.9%.
Running in parallel with the increase in industrial production in the first half of the year, the consumer index of the manufacturing and processing industry also posted an increase of 11.9% over the same period last year. In addition, the inventory index fell to its lowest level in the last four years at 63.4%, compared to 75.4%; 70% and 71.1% in the first halves of 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Warning on a downward trend in IIP growth rate
Lam also warned that the statistics showed a downward trend in industrial production when the IIP increased by 12.9% in the first quarter of 2018 and 8.4% in the second quarter compared to the same period of 2017. Likewise, the processing and manufacturing sector, which accounts for over 80% of the whole industry, increased 15.7% in Q1 and 10.1% in Q2.
In the second half of the year, the IIP would see a downward trend as the mining and petroleum industry would be down due to unfavourable weather conditions. Besides, the processing and manufacturing sector would slow because Samsung Electronics Viet Nam and Formosa Steel Corporation, which accounted for up to 40% of the industry, had reduced production due to lower consumption, Lam added.