World, Asia - Pacific

South Korea cuts 2020 growth estimate

Target slashed to 0.1% from 2.4%, finance ministry sees sharp rebound in 2021

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 01.06.2020
South Korea cuts 2020 growth estimate

ANKARA

South Korea, which is struggling to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections, slashed on Monday its growth estimate for the year amid a slump in global trade.

The finance ministry revised its growth outlook to 0.1% from the 2.4% forecast late last year.

"Situation in the second quarter may be worse than in the first quarter, but we judge that positive growth may be attainable from the third quarter should the pandemic ease," said finance minister Hong Nam-ki, vowing to adopt "all possible means" to bring the economy back on track, according to state-run Yonhap News Agency.

The ministry, he added, did not rule out the “possibility of a contraction this year given strong headwinds from the pandemic."

He said that the government, however, expected an "economic rebound of more than 3%" next year on the back of massive fiscal spending in Asia’s fourth largest economy.

The nation reported 35 new virus cases, raising the total caseload to 11,503, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One more virus-linked death was registered, taking the death toll to 271.

The far-east country has conducted 921,391 tests since Jan. 3, and 10,422 people have recovered from the disease.

The rise in infections, meanwhile, has raised alarm over school reopening. Following months of closure, South Korea began to resume in-person classes in May as new virus cases appeared to be slowing.

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