Manufacturing and construction are likely to remain the fastest-growing sectors.
The forecast is highlighted in the bank’s recently published Global Focus report for the third quarter of 2018 entitled “Fattening tail risks”.
“We are positive on Vietnam’s growth medium-term on strong manufacturing activity as FDI inflows to manufacturing remain strong. We believe that Vietnam will remain one of the fastest growing economies in Asia in 2018,” said Chidu Naryanan, Economist, Asia, Standard Chartered Bank.
According to the latest macro-economic research report, FDI inflows are set to remain high in 2018, led by manufacturing which makes up close to 50% of inflows.
Disbursed FDI rose to US$6.75 billion in January-May, higher than the year-ago period.
The bank expects both registered and implemented FDI to be close to US$15 billion in 2018, unchanged from the previous forecast.
Standard Chartered economists also forecast a mild trade surplus for the rest of the year on strong export growth and slowing import growth.
Electronics exports are likely to remain robust in 2018 on strong demand for components, particularly OLED displays used in mobile devices, and expected to grow by over 20% in 2018.
The report also suggests that the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is likely to remain accommodative in the near term to support growth, despite rate hikes from major central banks.
Standard Chartered Bank expects unchanged policy rates in 2018 and a mild devaluation of the Vietnamese currency, the dong (VND).
Specifically, the bank anticipates a mild move higher in USD/VND rate in the quarters ahead and revised up its USD/VND rate forecasts to 22,950 for the end of the third quarter 2018 and 23,000 for the year’s end.