South Korean economy to grow 4.3 per cent this year: report

South Korea map
Seoul, April 21: South Korea's economy is expected to grow 4.3 percent this year on robust exports and solid domestic consumption, a research institute forecast Thursday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy is forecast to expand 3.7 per cent in the first half of the year, and grow 4.7 per cent in the second half, the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) said.

The economic growth estimate is a bit lower than the 4.5 per cent expansion forecast by the Bank of Korea.

"Uncertainties such as the earthquake in Japan and rising inflation could pose threats to the economic growth," it said. "However, a recovery in the global economy will help the economy expand in the 4 per cent range this year."

The global economy is forecast to grow 4 per cent this year, the research institute said.

Consumer prices in South Korea are expected to increase 4.1 per cent this year as rising costs of raw materials and hikes in public services push up inflation, it said.

The unemployment rate is expected to stand at 3.8 per cent in the first half but will slip to 3.6 per cent in the second half, the SERI said.

The research institute said the local currency will trade at 1,060 won to the US dollar on average this year.

PTI (Yonhap)

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