The Vietnamese economy continued its strong performance in the first half of 2018, although external and domestic challenges could affect the country’s growth outlook for this year and next year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report. The ADB released an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, at a press conference in Hanoi on September 26. Vietnam maintained a 7.1 percent growth in the first half of 2018, compared to 5.8 percent in the same period last year. ADB forecasts Vietnam will grow 6.9 percent this year, slightly lower than the 7.1 percent projected in April. It retains the 2019 growth forecast for Vietnam at 6.8 percent. The bank has revised forecast for local inflation rate to 4.0 percent in 2018 and 4.5 percent in 2019, up from the April estimates of 3.7 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively./.