Korea's economic activity improving so far this year: central bank

By 정주원
  • Published : Feb 26, 2014 - 13:47
  • Updated : Feb 26, 2014 - 13:47

South Korea's economic activity stayed on a recovery trend in January and February on rising exports and consumption, the central bank said Wednesday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy has been on a modest recovery track since the fourth quarter of 2012, and the upward momentum is seen as being extended, the Bank of Korea said in its "BOK Golden Book" report.

The BOK released the Korean version of the U.S. Federal Reserve's Beige Book for the first time in late August, which monitors economic activities in seven regional areas.

The report said overseas shipments continued to improve, led by tech products, although many exporters are concerned about the weakening growth momentum in emerging markets and the yen's weakness.

Facility investment remained almost unchanged from three months earlier as tech companies refrained from making large investment, it added.

The BOK said local companies have not felt visible impact from the Fed's tapering of quantitative easing, but noted that as the Fed started scaling back its bond purchase, a considerable number of local companies expressed concerns about emerging market jitters, raw material prices and currency volatility.

On the yen's weakness, the report said its impact on Seoul's exports are seen as marginal as non-price competitiveness of local products increased despite stiff competition in overseas markets.

The central bank earlier said that the Korean economy is likely to grow 3.8 percent in 2014 after a 2.8 percent increase last year.

In the fourth quarter, Korea's economy grew 0.9 percent on-quarter, slowing from a 1.1 percent on-quarter gain in the third quarter, according to the BOK. (Yonhap News)