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Vietnam's growth picks up pace

Vietnam's economy grew at its fastest rate in two years in the fourth quarter, helped by government spending.

Hanoi's Statistics Office said economic growth expanded by 6.9% in the final three months of the year. That compares to 6.04% in the previous quarter.

In a statement, it said the economy "had passed the most difficult period".

The government took measures worth about $8bn (£5bn) to boost growth, including subsidies in order to encourage banks to lend.

Overall in 2009, the rate of expansion slowed to 5.32%, the lowest rate since 1999. That was put down to weaker demand for exports in the first part of the year.

The government also said it must "firstly continue to actively prevent the return of hyperinflation and the existing potential inflationary factors".

In November, the central bank raised rates and devalued the currency in an attempt to control inflation, which ran at a rate of 6.52% in December. Last year an overheating economy pushed it up to 28%.

Source: BBC News 

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