Exports to recover after slumping in 2019: Report

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Exports to recover after slumping in 2019: Report

Sluggish exports and weaker construction investment continued to weigh on Korea’s economy despite a solid gain in service output and consumption, a government report showed Friday.

In its monthly economic assessment report known as the “Green Book,” the Finance Ministry said market sentiment improved after the United States and China signed an initial trade deal, but uncertainties linger regarding the trade agreement’s second phase.

“Exports and construction investment are still in correction territory, although service output and consumption report a modest rise,” the report stated. “The government will strengthen its risk management and work to implement fiscal measures as planned.”

The report is based on a set of the latest indicators of output, exports, consumption and corporate investment, and serves as a snapshot of the economy’s performance in recent months.

Korea’s economy is expected to have suffered its weakest annual growth in a decade last year, owing to a lengthy U.S.-China trade war and a cyclical slump in the memory chip sector.

Korea’s exports fell 10.3 percent on-year in 2019 to $542.4 billion, according to government data.

Monthly exports last December slipped 5.2 percent on-year to $45.7 billion, extending their slump to a 13th consecutive month. However, this year’s outbound shipments are forecast to rise 3 percent.

Following 2019’s estimated 2-percent expansion, the economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent this year, on the back of an anticipated recovery in the memory chip sector and a series of policy measures.

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