S. Korea’s economy grows 4 pct in 2021, highest in 11 years

TOKYO, South Korea’s economy posted the highest growth rate in 11 years as consumption and exports bounced back from the pandemic-caused slump, Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday, citing the central bank.

The gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown four percent in 2021, the highest tally since 2010, when the economy expanded 6.8 percent, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.

The 2021 growth rate made a turnaround from a year earlier when the economy contracted 0.9 percent, the worst performance since 1998, it said.

For the fourth quarter, the economy is estimated to have grown 1.1 percent, accelerating from the previous quarter’s 0.3 percent gain, the data showed.

The central bank cited the government’s extra budgets, eased antivirus curbs, high vaccination rates and consumers’ adaptation to the pandemic, and coupled with rebounding exports, as factors that contributed to the overall upward trends of economic growth.

Private consumption expanded 3.6 percent last year, up from the previous year’s five percent contraction. Exports jumped 9.7 percent, driven by brisk overseas sales of semiconductors and oil-related products, despite global supply chain disruptions.

Imports also rose 8.4 percent as purchases of crude oil increased.

Source: Kuwait News Agency