Economic unpredictability has been held responsible for a decline in the Viet Nam Business Confidence Index in the first quarter. The index fell three points to 113.
The information was released following a survey by the Viet Nam Financial Intelligence Service of more than 160 enterprises in 11 key sectors between mid-March and the first week of April. More than half of the respondents were small and medium enterprises.
Nearly half said they would not hire new staff; another 14.8 per cent said they would reduce their workforce.
Regarding assets investment, 35 per cent of the businesses planned to increase their investment in assets; 44.5 per cent said they would remain at the current level; and 20.4 per cent said they would decrease their asset investment within the next 12 months.
The survey also showed that more than 56 per cent of the businesses believed the State Bank of Viet Nam's policy to reduce lending interest rates would take effect but they remained sceptical about their ability to access the loans at reduced rates.
Most of the businesses said the rise in the minimum wage to VND1,050,000 (US$50) from the current VND830,000 ($40), to be applied in May, would increase their production costs and cause financial pressure at a time of economic difficulties.