Seoul, Jun 2 (efe-epa).- The South Korean economy contracted one-tenth less than initially estimated for the first quarter, in which the gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 1.3 percent compared to October-December 2019, according to revised data published today by the Bank of Korea (BoK).
In any case, the figure, conditioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to represent the biggest decline in the South Korean economy since the last quarter of 2008, when GDP contracted by 3.3 percent due to the global financial crisis that started with the bankruptcy of the American investment bank Lehman Brothers.
Compared to the January-March quarter of the previous year, Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew by 1.4 percent, which is also an upward revision of the figure by one-tenth.
Even so, it is also the weakest figure since the third quarter of 2009, when GDP advanced just 0.9 percent year-on-year.
Among the revisions that affected the macroeconomic data are exports, a pillar of South Korean GDP, which contracted 1.4 percent compared to the last quarter of 2019, instead of the 2 percent initially estimated.
In turn, the decline in imports (3.6 percent) was five-tenths less than what was initially calculated.
On the other hand, the contraction in consumption was expanded by one-tenth (6.5 percent), very affected by social distancing, and the growth of public spending was revised upward, which increased by 1.2 percent (three tenths more), and capital spending, which expanded by 0.4 percent (two tenths more).
The effects of the coronavirus on South Korea, which between February and March became the second most affected country in the world by the pathogen after China, serve as a foretaste of the effects that the pandemic is having on the planet’s economies. EFE-EPA