Korean economy likely to face slowdown: KDI

Korean economy likely to face slowdown: KDI

The Korean economy is showing signs of entering a period of decline caused by the slowing down of domestic consumption and plummeting exports, a state-run think tank said Thursday.

“Certain economic indicators exhibited steep declines, signaling deceleration of growth,” the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in its monthly evaluation of the country’s economic conditions. “Domestic demand has weakened mainly in private consumption while export growth dipped further.”

The country posted an 18.5 percent plunge in its January outbound shipments, a steeper drop compared with 14.1 percent negative growth tallied for December.

In line with sluggish exports, industrial output dropped 1.9 percent on-year in December, although it moved up 1.3 percent from the month before.

“Exports exhibited sharp falls in most key items as the global economy slowed with China leading the trend, and with oil prices dropping more than expected,” the KDI report read.

Domestic data also showed that private consumption is rapidly cooling as the government-led stimulus programs expired at the end of last year.

“Despite the continued moderate recovery in private consumption, sentiment has begun to weaken significantly starting in the new year as the effect of stimulus policies lose momentum,” the KDI said.

Sales of domestic cars fell 4.8 percent on-year in January following a 34.6 percent jump in sales in December backed by an excise tax cut.

Consumer confidence index has been on a decline, with numbers for January reaching a six month low of 100.

KDI’s latest findings revealed January’s consumer price index grew less than 1 percent as the effect of the cigarette price hike waned. The Seoul government raised the price by 2,000 won per pack last year, contributing to pushing up inflation by 0.58 percentage point throughout last year.

Source :  http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160204000784

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