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Prices are low, but there’s plenty of red tape
Budget balance: -1.7%
Current account: -13.6%
Sovereign credit rating: BB/Negative
Stock market: -55.0%
After several years of export-led growth, Vietnam's economy is showing signs of overheating. In the first half of 2008, the currency fell, inflation jumped from 10% to 21%, and the trade deficit rose to $14.2 billion--the same amount posted for all of 2007. To offset these problems, the government has cut back on spending and tightened controls on bank lending, which expanded 50% last year. That has helped reduce the deficit recorded in the first half of 2008, although GDP growth estimates also have been slashed to 7% this year and 6.5% to 7% in 2009, compared with typical rates above 8% in recent years.