S.Korea’s economy struggles with Covid-19 shock

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Seoul

South Korea’s economy struggled with the COVID-19 shock in the first half of this year, but the economy was expected to recover in the second half thanks to fiscal stimulus packages and accommodative monetary policy.
The seasonally-adjusted production in all industries, which exclude agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors, declined 1.2 percent in May from a month earlier, Statistics Korea data showed Tuesday.
The industrial production continued to slide for the fourth consecutive month with falls of 2.5 percent in April, 0.3 percent in March and 3.5 percent in February respectively.
Output in the mining and manufacturing industry tumbled 6.7 percent in May from the previous month, while the production in the services sector increased 2.3 percent last month.
An economic fallout from the COVID-19 was estimated to have deepened in the second quarter compared to the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic rapidly spread across the world during the April-June quarter.
The country’s real GDP, adjusted for inflation, contracted 1.3 percent in the January-March quarter compared with the previous quarter. It was the biggest quarterly fall since the fourth quarter of 2008 when the financial crisis roiled the global economy.
Bank of Korea (BOK) estimated the real GDP would have retreated more than 2 percent in the second quarter from three months earlier given the faster slide in export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy.
The outbound shipment plunged 23.7 percent in May from a year earlier, after skidding 24.3 percent in the previous month. The export inched down 0.7 percent in March.
The number of jobs declined 392,000 in May from a year earlier, keeping a downward trend for the third consecutive month. The employment tumbled 476,000 in April and 195,000 in March respectively.—Xinhua