SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) — Major foreign investment banks (IBs) have slightly raised their forecasts for South Korea’s economic growth for 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic, a report showed Thursday.

As of end-December, nine major global IBs, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, forecast the South Korean economy to grow 3.4 percent this year, up 0.1 percentage point from their median outlook offered a month earlier, according to the report by the Korea Center for International Finance.

Seven IBs — Barclays, BoA-Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Nomura Securities and UBS — have retained their previous projections.

Credit Suisse has revised up its outlook to 3.6 percent from 2.9 percent, with HSBC upgrading its estimate to 2.7 percent from 2.2 percent.

UBS has offered the highest growth projection of 4.1 percent for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

The nine IBs have also retained their 2020 growth forecast of minus 1.1 percent for the Korean economy.

In December, the government estimated the local economy to have contracted in the 1 percent range, compared with an earlier outlook of minus 1.1 percent.

Those IBs have also expected the South Korean economy to expand 2.8 percent in 2022, with UBS offering the highest forecast of 3.8 percent, according to the report.