Vietnam’s economy grew more than 13 percent in the third quarter, compared to a year earlier, as manufacturing and exports surged following the end of strict Covid-19 controls, authorities said Thursday. During the same period last year, commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City was under strict lockdown and production at many factories in important southern industrial zones was severely affected. Growth in the communist nation and manufacturing powerhouse stuttered at around three percent for two consecutive years due to the pandemic. Before that, Vietnam was a success story among Asian economies, posting growth of seven percent in 2019. In a return to health, the economy grew by 8.83 percent in the first nine months of 2022, the fastest expansion since 2011. “Business and production activities have step-by-step gained back momentum for growth,” Vietnam’s general statistics office (GSO) said. “The GDP in the third quarter of 2022 was estimated at a relatively high increase of 13.67 percent against the same period last year.” According to a World Bank report last month, Vietnam’s GDP is forecast to surge from an estimated 2.6 percent in 2021 to 7.5 percent in 2022. But it warned of risks including growth slowdown or stagflation in its main export markets and continued disruption of global supply chains. Vietnam’s consumer price index rose 3.94 percent compared to the same period last year, the GSO said.