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IMF maintains S. Korea’s 2021 economic growth outlook at 3.6%

IMF headquarters building in Washington (AP-Yonhap)
IMF headquarters building in Washington (AP-Yonhap)
South Korea’s economy is expected to grow 3.6 percent this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but it will grow 2.8 percent in 2022 as the world economy recovers, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

The figures have remained unchanged from its estimate released on March 26 in a report on the outcome of its annual consultation with South Korea held in January. Last month, it forecast Asia’s fourth-largest economy to grow 3.6 percent this year, up from its estimate in January of 3.1 percent.

The IMF’s projection is more sanguine compared to the 3 percent growth estimate by the Bank of Korea and the 3.2 percent growth forecast made by South Korea’s Finance Ministry.

In the March report, IMF said the Korean economy has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic “comparatively well,” supported by its “sound macroeconomic fundamentals, a timely and effective public health response, and the deployment of a comprehensive set of fiscal, monetary, and financial measures.”

Buoyant exports of high-tech products and resilient investment in machinery and equipment are expected to lift up the economy which contracted 1 percent last year. 

The government announced last week that the country’s exports expanded for a sixth straight month in March, increasing 16.6 percent from a year earlier to $53.8 billion. 

The organization also raised its forecast for global economic growth to 6.0 percent this year after the contraction of 3.3 percent in 2020. 

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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