The Korea Herald


Economy losing momentum: ministry

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Nov. 11, 2014 - 19:39

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The South Korean government voiced concerns about the economy Tuesday, saying that growth was losing momentum due to mounting uncertainties in the domestic and global markets.

“Despite the rise in employment, low prices continue and the economic recovery has failed to gather momentum due to factors such as strikes in the auto industry,” the Finance Ministry said in its economic trend report.

“Amid the uncertainties rising from the quantitative easing in the U.S. and the weak yen, Korea’s economic recovery has been slow in terms of consumption and investment, and the economic downside risks are growing.”

Regarding consumer prices in October, retail sales of cellphones and goods sold in department stores and discount stores were disappointing. The number of consumers who purchased new mobile phones was 375,000 last month, a drop from 626,000 in September.

Sales of Korean cars in the domestic market rose 2.1 percent from the previous month, but this is still weak compared to 10.4 percent growth during the same period last year, the report showed.

Also, sales of goods in department stores and discount stores dropped by 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent each in October compared to a year earlier.

Despite the sluggish indicators for the month of November, those for the third quarter in general recovered to levels of the first quarter, the ministry said.

The economic growth rate of the third quarter was 0.9 percent, the same level of the first quarter and a slight increase from the second quarter of 0.5 percent.

“The government will closely monitor the economic trends at home and abroad, and it will step up its efforts to stabilize the market in response to the external impact,” the Finance Ministry said.

By Shin Ji-hye (