Economy Grows As Expected, Prime Minister

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the 5th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly on Tuesday that the national economic development has advanced as expected with the first half of this year expected to witness an economic growth of 6.7% and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 152,436 billion kip.

Based on data collected in the first four months of this year, agriculture is expected to rise by 2.9% and manufacturing and service are expected to climb by 7%, and 7.9%, respectively, in the first half of 2018.

The government has expected that GDP per capita of the country for the first half of 2018 will reach US$ 2,609 US dollars.

Prime Minister Thongloun said that national revenue collection in the first half of the year is likely to reach 12,084 billion kip, equivalent to 47.48% of the target set for 2018. Meanwhile government spending for the same period is expected to reach 15,731 billion kip, equivalent to 47.95% of the annual plan.

In the first six months of 2018, although the government has encountered budgetary difficulties, the government has attached attention to addressing debts through a number of means to boost economic growth as the government has allocated a budget of 529.76 billion kip to settle debts of 1,831 projects, said Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

The premier also highlighted government monetary management efforts saying that such efforts have contributed to national currency stability and adjusted interest rates to market mechanisms as a result the gap between loan interest and deposit interest become acceptable.

Inflation rate in the first four months was 1.62%, decreased by 1.8% year on year. National currency Kip appreciated 0.5% against US dollar but depreciated 6.82% against Thai baht due to increasing imports from Thailand.

Source: Lao News Agency