unbekannter Gast

South Korea: Economy#

South Korea over the past four decades has demonstrated incredible economic growth and global integration to become a high-tech industrialized economy. In the 1960s, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion-dollar club of world economies.

A system of close government and business ties, including directed credit and import restrictions, initially made this success possible. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption.

The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 exposed longstanding weaknesses in South Korea's development model, including high debt/equity ratios and massive short-term foreign borrowing. GDP plunged by 7% in 1998, and then recovered by 9% in 1999-2000. South Korea adopted numerous economic reforms following the crisis, including greater openness to foreign investment and imports. Growth moderated to about 4% annually between 2003 and 2007.

South Korea's export focused economy was hit hard by the 2008 global economic downturn, but quickly rebounded in subsequent years, reaching over 6% growth in 2010. The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement was ratified by both governments in 2011 and went into effect in March 2012. Between 2012 and 2015, the economy experienced slow growth – 2%-3% per year - due to sluggish domestic consumption and investment. The administration in 2015 faced the challenge of balancing heavy reliance on exports with developing domestic-oriented sectors, such as services.

The South Korean economy's long-term challenges include a rapidly aging population, inflexible labor market, dominance of large conglomerates (chaebols), and the heavy reliance on exports, which comprise about half of GDP. In an effort to address the long term challenges and sustain economic growth, the current government has prioritized structural reforms, deregulation, promotion of entrepreneurship and creative industries, and the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.929 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.878 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.83 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.404 trillion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.7% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
3.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$37,900 (2016 est.)
$37,100 (2015 est.)
$36,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving36.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
35.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 49%
government consumption: 15.4%
investment in fixed capital: 29.3%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 43.2%
imports of goods and services: -37% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 2.3%
industry: 37.6%
services: 60.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, root crops, barley, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs, chickens, milk, eggs; fish
Industrieselectronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel
Industrial production growth rate1.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force27.25 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 5.7%
industry: 24.2%
services: 70.2% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4% (2016 est.)
3.6% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line14.6% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 6.8%
highest 10%: 37.8% (Q4 2014)
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.2 (2014 est.)
35.8 (2000)
Budgetrevenues: $304.3 billion
expenditures: $321.4 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues21.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt46.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
44.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.8% (2016 est.)
0.7% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate1.5% (31 December 2015)
2% (31 December 2014)
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.53% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$733.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$604.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.093 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.917 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.641 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.427 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.231 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.213 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.235 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Current account balance$101.6 billion (2016 est.)
$105.9 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$509 billion (2016 est.)
$548.8 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiessemiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat display displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers
Exports - partnersChina 26%, US 13.3%, Hong Kong 5.8%, Vietnam 5.3%, Japan 4.9% (2015)
Imports$405.1 billion (2016 est.)
$428.5 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiescrude oil/petroleum products, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemical, textiles
Imports - partnersChina 20.7%, Japan 10.5%, US 10.1%, Germany 4.8%, Saudi Arabia 4.5% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$372.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$367.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$385.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$381.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$179.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$174.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$318 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$286.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesSouth Korean won (KRW) per US dollar -
1,167.6 (2016 est.)
1,130.95 (2015 est.)
1,130.95 (2014 est.)
1,052.96 (2013 est.)
1,126.47 (2012 est.)