World Economy

S. Korea Economy to Gather Recovery Pace

S. Korea Economy to Gather Recovery PaceS. Korea Economy to Gather Recovery Pace

South Korea’s top economic policymaker brushed off concerns over bleak economic prospects on Friday, expecting the country’s economy to gather steam for a recovery down the road on the back of a series of fiscal and monetary easing steps.

Asia’s fourth-biggest economy expanded 0.8 percent on-quarter in the first quarter, picking up from 0.3 percent growth three months earlier, but stayed below the 1 percent level for four consecutive quarters, central bank data showed last week, Yonhap reported.

“Since (the economy) has failed to grow more than 1 percent in the past few quarters, I anticipate that it will surpass that level in the second quarter,” Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan told reporters following a meeting with tourism industry officials on the country’s southern resort island of Jeju.

While the country’s first-quarter economic expansion has been affected by an economic slowdown since last year, the economy will see its recovery quicken in the current quarter, he said.

The economy has had a slow expansion rate in the face of weak domestic demand and exports, although the Bank of Korea has slashed the policy rate by a combined 0.75 percentage point over the past few months to help the economy recover while the government has front-loaded its budget spending.

The economy’s on-quarter growth, which reached 1.1 percent in the first quarter of last year, slowed to 0.5 percent in the second quarter and fell to 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter after slightly picking up to 0.8 percent in the third quarter.

Choi said his ministry will take appropriate measures, including an extra budget, after closely monitoring economic circumstances.