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Vietnam may cut GDP forecast on slow 1Q growth

Vietnam may be forced to cut its 2012 growth target to as low as 5 percent from 6 percent after the economy grew at the slowest pace since 2009 in the first quarter, two government advisers said.

The full-year target could be cut to "about 5 to 5.5 percent," Tran Hoang Ngan, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said on Tuesday. "With first-quarter growth at only 4 percent, it will be extremely hard to reach 6 percent for the full year," Vo Tri Thanh, a member of the same council that advises the prime minister, also said on Tuesday.

A lower growth target would ease pressure on the central bank to further reduce interest rates after doing so in March and April, said Ngan, who is also deputy headmaster of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City. The actions led the International Monetary Fund to say that officials should have waited longer between cuts.

(Source: Jakarta Globe)