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S. Korea vows swift budget spending amid growing virus concerns

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

SEJONG -- South Korea will swiftly implement its fiscal spending as China's rapidly spreading coronavirus epidemic is expected to cast a shadow on the nation's fragile economic recovery, a senior official said Thursday.

The spread of the virus is likely to have an "unexpected" impact on the nation's economic growth, Vice Finance Minister Koo Yun-cheol said in a meeting with relevant economic officials earlier in the day.

South Korea has planned to spend 62 percent of its budget in the first half of this year.

The government will spare no efforts to prevent the economy from losing its recovery momentum, Koo said.

South Korea's aviation, tourism and exports are expected to take a hit from the epidemic, officials said.

South Korea has 23 confirmed cases of the virus, believed to have originated in the Chinese central city of Wuhan.

South Korea's economy grew 2 percent last year, marking the slowest growth in a decade. The Bank of Korea expected the nation's economy to grow 2.3 percent this year. (Yonhap)
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