SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) — The South Korean economy is on track to a recovery as the country’s production, consumption and investment have posted growth following months of slumps amid the new coronavirus outbreak, the finance minister said Thursday.
At a parliamentary meeting, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki also said that the country posted a “very solid” current account surplus in September on the back of improving exports.
“The recent data showed production, consumption and investment returned to growth altogether in a sign that the Korean economy shows momentum for recovery,” Hong said at the parliamentary session on budget review.
The country’s industrial output gained 2.3 percent on-month in September, after a 0.8 percent on-month decline in August, according to data from the statistics office. Retail sales rose 1.7 percent on-month in September, and facility investment gained 7.4 percent, the largest monthly increase in six months.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy contracted for the second straight quarter in the second quarter, hit by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and an extended slump in exports.
But the Korean economy grew 1.9 percent on-quarter in the third quarter on exports recovery.
The country’s current account surplus hit a two-year high of US$10.21 billion in September, as exports rebounded for the first time in seven months on robust shipments of chips and autos.
Hong said despite signs of economic recovery, downside risks to the economy linger, such as a global resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
“International organizations forecast the global economy will recover next year on expectations that the virus outbreak is likely to be brought under control. But economic uncertainty and downside risks remain high,” the minister said.