By Jeon Han and Yoon Sojung
Korea recorded 3.1 percent annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in 2017, the Bank of Korea (BOK) announced on Jan. 25.
The central bank said that Korea’s real GDP dropped by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter, but that year-on-year Korea’s real GDP rose by 3.1 percent in 2017, compared to that of 2016.
Korea’s GDP growth rate recorded 3.3 percent in 2014, but since then it has remained under 3 percent, hitting only 2.8 percent growth in 2015 and 2016. The figure bounced back to 3 percent growth in 2017.
The BOK said that the latest GDP growth rate is being led by private consumption, which has shown a modest growth rate of 2.6 percent, construction investment, which grew at a rate of 7.5 percent, and equipment investment, which soared to a 14.6 percent growth rate.
By economic activity, the central bank said that the growth in services decreased, but that the growth in manufacturing accelerated and that construction maintained an even higher level of growth.
Both the Korean government and the Bank of Korea predict that Korea will show a real GDP growth rate of 3 percent this year.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted Korea’s GDP to grow by 3.0 percent in its “2018 Projected Real GDP” that was recently published on its website. The World Bank expects Korea to grow at a rate of 3.1 percent this year, according to its “Global Economic Prospects” issued on Jan. 9.
The international credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s both predict a 2.8 percent real GDP growth rate for the Korean economy, slightly lower than the figures put forth by the Korean government and other international organizations.