SEOUL: Two South Korean private think tanks have revised down their growth outlooks for Korea, citing a continued slump in exports and weak domestic demand.
LG Economic Research Institute said in a report Thursday that Asia’s fourth-largest economy will grow 2.4 percent this year, down from the previous projection of 2.5 percent. It is the most skeptical view among economic institutes in Korea in terms of growth projections, reports the Korea Herald.
The think tank attributed the grimmer outlook to a still sluggish global demand weighing on Korean exports. Positive effects of low oil prices, which buttressed improvements in corporate earnings and household consumption, will soon ebb away, it said.
The Korea Institute of Finance on Thursday also slashed the growth outlook to 2.6 percent from a 3 percent forecast made six months earlier.
KIF cited slowing consumer demand, a lower-than-expected facility investment and a continued slump in exports as the major contributors to a bleaker growth outlook this year
Korea’s exports remained persistently low in March, falling for the 15th consecutive month to post a record-breaking losing streak, according to data by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The 8.2 percent decline, however, marked the first single-digit decrease in four months.
Hyundai Research Institute may also cut the growth forecast currently set at 2.8 percent, Hong Jun-pyo, an economist at Hyundai, said Friday.
The moves to cut growth projections by think tanks came a day after the International Monetary Fund sharply lowered its growth forecast for Korea to 2.7 percent from 3.2 percent. IMF said a slowdown in China will limit the Korean economic growth.
Korea’s Finance Ministry targets a 3.1 percent expansion for the economy, while the Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol recently said the economy may not reach 3 percent growth this year. The BOK is to announce a revised outlook Tuesday next week.