Moody’s Raises Vietnam Outlook to Positive on Fiscal Vigor

Moody’s Investors Service raised its outlook for Vietnam to positive from negative and affirmed the country’s long-term credit rating at Ba3, citing fiscal consolidation and an improving economy.

“The drivers of the positive outlook include signs of improvements in fiscal strength and potential improvements in economic strength that may strengthen Vietnam’s credit profile over time,” Moody’s said in a statement Thursday.

Vietnam’s Communist Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong last month signaled the country would continue its push for strong growth and maintain an anti-corruption campaign as the party approved a plan to double per-capita gross domestic product in five years. Parliament has set an official target of 6% growth this year, but the government hopes to push it as high as 6.5%.

“Vietnam shall continue to pursue policies that ensure macro-economic stability, improve economic competitiveness,” the Ministry of Finance said in an emailed statement in response to the Moody’s move.

Private economists expect Vietnam’s economy to grow 7.5% this year, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“Vietnam’s economic strength may benefit from global shifts in production, trade and consumption following the coronavirus pandemic,” Moody’s said. Improvements in fiscal and debt metrics should be “only briefly interrupted by the pandemic.”

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