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Even With Stellar Pandemic Response, Vietnam's Consumer Confidence Drops Sharply

A recent survey found that the figure fell to its lowest point in roughly 20 years.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Infocus Mekong Research, a Saigon-based firm, polled residents on consumer confidence in July. Their findings showed that just 5% of respondents believed the economy will be better this year than in 2019.

The same company surveyed this indicator in January, before the COVID-19 pandemic started, and the figure was 70% at the time. 

Ralf Matthaes, Infocus Mekong's managing director, told the news source that 5% was the lowest consumer confidence result in his two decades of research in Vietnam.

"Obviously people are going out less and isolating more," he said. "The first one is behavioral, so they're going out less often, and the second one is financial."

Such pessimism is understandable, given the global economic reality. Vietnam has weathered the pandemic relatively well, with the economy expanding in the first half of this year, while the Asia Development Bank expects 2020 growth of 1.8%. This is well below 2019's rate of 7%, but many other countries will experience massive economic contraction this year.  

According to Nikkei, the Da Nang outbreak severely dampened economic expectations among everyday people, while many businesses were also looking forward to ramping up spending and hiring. 

Vietnam has experienced more than a month without any new community transmission case of the virus at the time of writing.

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