The Green Book: Current Economic Trends
The Korean economy has
seen employment continuously increasing, while real economic indicators
have improved in some sectors and the pace of inflation has slowed
Employment stayed in good shape in February, increasing by
447,000 mainly in the service sector helped by full-time
Consumer price inflation fell in March to a 2 percent
range (from 3.1 percent the month before to 2.6 percent)
for the first time since August 2010, driven by a slowdown in the
pace of core inflation from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent, but
destabilizing factors remain such as rising prices of
international oil and agricultural products.
Mining and manufacturing production rose 0.8 percent
month-on-month in February due to an improvement in
semiconductors & processed metals production, while service
output increased 0.9 percent compared to the previous month
thanks to the financial & insurance sector increases.
In February retail sales went 2.6 percent higher than a
month ago, as semi-durable and nondurable goods sales
climbed even with a decline in durable goods sales.
Despite a rise in transportation equipment investment,
facilities investment dropped 5.4 percent month-on-month in
February due to a fall in machinery investment. Construction investment
rose 10.7 percent compared to the previous month as both building
construction and civil engineering works went up.
March exports slightly fell 1.4 percent year-on-year due
to a base effect, but the current account balance continues
to post a surplus, rising to US$2.33 billion from the previous month's
The cyclical indicator of the coincident composite index
in February gained 0.5 points from a month ago with all
components increasing. The leading composite index went up 0.5
points month-on-month backed by construction order
In March, foreign capital inflows into the domestic
financial market slowed down as the demand for flight to
safety weakened against the backdrop of economic recovery expectations
in major countries.
In March, housing prices continued to diverge between the
Seoul metropolitan area and other areas, while rent prices
rose at a slightly faster pace.
External uncertainties have continued to remain high due
to the ongoing European debt crisis and a rise in
international oil prices.
The Korean government will closely monitor any changes in
local and global economic situations and the subsequent
outcome, while reinforcing policy actions to help the economy continue
to recover and keep prices stable. At the same time, the government
will focus on securing the livelihoods of citizens through
active job creation and stabilization of the prices of
necessities, while also pursuing economic restructuring and
boosting domestic demand.
Policy Issues :
- Yeosu Declaration as a Legacy of the EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea
Economic News Briefing :
- Korea Grows 3.6% in 2011
- Nuclear Security Summit Held in Seoul
- Moody's Raises Korea's Credit Rating Outlook
- Q1 FDI Posts Highest Level Since 2008 Crisis
- Korea-Turkey FTA Joint Statement
- Korea Plans Fund to Aid Latin American Countries
- Korea Opens Online Spot Market for Oil Products
* For full text, please open the attached PDF file.